December 16, 2016. Treaty One Territory. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs congratulates the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre and the 12 Manitoba First Nations on the occasion of the signing of a First Nations Education Governance Agreement for a Manitoba First Nations School System with the Government of Canada.

“Today we are celebrating a milestone for Manitoba First Nations children by revitalizing our culture, languages and traditions within schools on-reserve. For years, First Nations were deliberately forced into a school system that took away their identity as a Nehetheo, Anishinaabe, and Dakota. This left damaging effects within our Nations and amongst our people that can still be felt today,” stated Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.

The Manitoba First Nations School System, formerly known as the Partnership Transition Initiative, is a First Nations led strategy to create a new culturally, relevant, high-quality education system. Currently, there are eight First Nations that have signed on: Bloodvein First Nation; Brokenhead Ojibway Nation; Dakota Plains Wahpeton First Nation; Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nations; Lake Manitoba First Nation; Pinaymootang First Nation; Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation; and Fox Lake Cree Nation. Four other First Nations have expressed an interested in signing on: Lake St First Nation; Mathias Colomb Cree Nation; Sagkeeng First Nation; and York Factory First Nation.

Yesterday marked the first year anniversary of the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Calls for Action numbers 6 to 12 relate specifically to providing comparable funding on reserve (Call to Action #8) and providing culturally appropriate early childhood programs on reserve (Call to Action #12). “It is timely for the signing of this Agreement, as it is a move for Canada to follow up on some of the Calls-to-Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.”

“The AMC remains willing to assist the MFNERC and the 12 First Nations in caring out the agreement. This includes ensuring that they incorporate First Nations tradition, culture and language, and develop their own First Nations education law and standards, but also meet the needs of the provincial school standards. This will allow First Nation students to succeed in mainstream society while being proud of their First Nation heritage and who they are,” stated Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.

The Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre is an Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs mandated organization that receives their direction from the Chiefs-in-Assembly. Grand Chief concluded, “I also want to congratulate the Manitoba Chiefs who provided this direction and the First Nation Communities that are signed onto this agreement.”

For more information please contact:
Dwayne Bird,
AMC Communications