21 Sep Aboriginal groups lobbying for better deal on underfunded education (The Canadian Press)
OTTAWA – Native leaders are urging MPs to back efforts to improve aboriginal education programs.
They say native schools are short-changed by the federal government, with per-capita spending well below provincial levels.
The gap between what Ottawa spends and what is needed runs into hundreds of millions of dollars.
The lobbying efforts are part of a week-long advocacy program across the country.
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says better education is a priority.
He says he wants to see a first-ministers meeting which would concentrate on improving education for native children.
The aboriginal population is growing faster than any other segment of the population, he says, and these children deserve an education.
”Every First Nation child must have a guarantee to quality education,” he said.
”This means support for First Nations education through fair and equitable funding and First Nations control of First Nations education.”
Atleo said this is the key to the future.
”It is central to our drive to take greater control over our lives and communities and will make a stronger Canada for all Canadians.”
Now is the time to act, he said. …Go to article.