November 23, 2004 - from http://www.afn.ca/Media/2004/nov/november_23_04.htm
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Responds to Auditor General’s Recommendations on First Nations Education
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine responded to recommendations on First Nations education in the Auditor General of Canada’s report released today in Ottawa. The report includes recommendations related to First Nations primary and secondary education and post-secondary education, noting that “educational parity is still a long way off for First Nations”.
“The lack of progress on First Nations education is alarming,” said National Chief Fontaine. “In the last four years there has been literally no progress in closing the gap in graduation rates between First Nations and Canadian citizens. At the current rate, it will take 28 years for First Nations to catch-up to the non-Aboriginal population. If this is left unchecked it’s going to create a crisis in Canada’s economy.”
The National Chief noted that in 1996, the federal government capped funding increases for Indian Affairs’ core programs (which includes education) at 2% per year. This does not match inflation or population growth and follow-up studies have found that the gap in overall quality of life between First Nations and non-Aboriginal Canadians stopped closing at this point. At the same time, recent studies show that the number of Canadians withdrawing from the labour force will exceed those entering by 2015. At the same time, the First Nations population is young – more than half the First Nations population is under the age of 25.
“Education is a key determinant in the quality of life of Canadians and it will be a key determinant in the quality of life of the country,” said the National Chief. “Our population is young and will be driving the country’s economy in the coming years. If Canada is going to be a player in the world economy then the only solution is for the government to work with First Nations and support our efforts to ensure our citizens are equipped and educated so they can become the work force of tomorrow. It is a simple but important truth that, now more than ever, our future is Canada’s future.”
The report also examined the problems with the government’s administration of the $273 million annual Post-Secondary Student Support Program for First Nations. The Auditor General reports that, in administering the program, the government does not ensure that as many students as possible have equitable access to the program. The number of students has been declining in recent years. In 1998-99, participation rates of Registered Indians was at a high of 27,157 but dropped to 25,075 in 2002-03.
“We have 10,000 First Nations students on waiting lists, ready and willing to further their education and contribute to the economy, but they cannot access the resources they are rightfully entitled to,” said National Chief Fontaine. “Access to post-secondary education is critical to the improving the quality of life for First Nations individuals, families, and communities. Post-secondary education is also a fundamental building block of self-sufficiency and self-government. It is true that we need more resources dedicated to education, but we can also make better and more efficient use of the available resources. First nations are best-placed to identify where the needs are because they deal directly with their students. What’s really needed is more First Nations input and control over administering the program.”
The Assembly of First Nations commissioned a thorough national review of First Nations post-secondary education in 2000 and found that there are two fundamental problems with the funding of First Nations post-secondary education in Canada:
The second point above is confirmed by the Auditor General’s report released today. The problems with how the funding is managed begin right at the center of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – allocations to regions are made in blocks, and so regional senior officials can move funding amounts between program areas at their discretion. When funding is transferred to First Nations to disburse to students, the terms and conditions under which the money flows do not ensure maximum impact or benefit.
The AFN intends to work closely with the Federal Government to ensure that changes are made to both the way post-secondary funds are managed within INAC and in relation to the terms and conditions attached to funds when they leave the department.
“It is the fundamental position of the AFN that education at all levels is an inherent Aboriginal and Treaty right as recognized in the Canadian Constitution and international law,” said National Chief Fontaine. “The AFN is ready to work with government and has put many ideas on the table already to ensure maximum benefit to students, families and communities from existing funding amounts, and to identify and increase student funding so that First Nations participation rates in post-secondary education get back on a positive increasing trend. This is good for First Nations and it is good for Canada.”
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
One product from last week's KO Telehealth conference in Sioux Lookout was a 2 minute video created by Cal Kenny, Blue Mason and Tina Kakepetum-Schultz. The video is available on-line from the KO Telehealth home page at http://telehealth.knet.ca.
Along with this video four additional videos providing additional information about telehealth services in remote First Nations are available from a new web page. The four other videos include:
Health - Better access to services and support
|High - Low|
Fort Hope, Ontario
February 17, 18, 19, 20 2005.
PeeWee 11 & 12 yrs old
Bantams 13 & 14 yrs old
Midgets 15 to 18 yrs old
$200.00 Entry Fee
Deadline February 1st 2005
First 6 out town teams (per division to) to confirm
- cash prizes - trophies - medallions
Friday & Saturday Night Dances
For more information contact:
Clara @ (h) 242-1431 or (w) 242-1573
Eva @ (h) 242-1297 or (w) 242-1515
We will soon have an email address and a MyKnet.org website to keep you updated
Northern Nishinawbe Education Council Post Secondary celebrates 25 years!!
NAN Women’s Gathering November 22-26, 2004
Travelodge Airlane Hotel
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Tuesday 23rd November 2004: A house fire last weekend in Long Lake #58 First Nation has stripped a local family of six of their home and personal belongings. The Chief and council of the community are appealing to the public for donations of goods and money to help support the family over the next few months.
The family, which has four children, ages 10, 9, 8 and 4, is currently residing with family members in the community and are in need of essential living items such as clothing, toys, and food. The family has been living on a limited income and all their Christmas shopping was also lost in the fire.
Says Chief Veronica Waboose of Long Lake #58 First Nation; “As a community, we are rallying to support this distressed family as much as we can. However, most of our families are struggling to live on a limited income themselves and so we would welcome any additional donations from the local community at large to help support this family, especially through the Christmas season.”
All donations should be sent to Matawa First Nations Management and specify that they are for Long Lake #58 Fire Donations.
Matawa First Nations Management; Tel: 807 767 4443; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Pellerin, K-Net's Network Manager, presented information about ICTs and broadband infrastructure in First Nations at today's session of the Aboriginal Voice roundtable in Toronto. Darrin Potter and Craig Hardy will be presenting tomorrow about the Keewaytinook Internet High School along with Fernando Oliveira who will share the story about the KO Grade 8 Supplementary Courses.
This is the second roundtable in a series of four and is the topic for this Ontario Roundtable is Aboriginal E-learning. Two more roundtables are planned for the western and northern regions of the country. The roundtable discussions is being coordinated by a consulting group (KTA - Kaufman, Thomas and Associates, Inc.) and their KTA Centre for Collaborative Government divisioin.
From their Aboriginal Voice web site (click here to learn more) ...
"Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are poised to revolutionize the way in which governments interact and provide services and information to their citizens. Aboriginal Canadians have begun to develop ICT as an essential tool in governance, information sharing, and service provision. If harnessed appropriately, ICT offers critical opportunities to strengthen cultural identity, promote sustainable community development, and greater self-reliance among Aboriginal peoples. ...
The Aboriginal Voice project aims to fill that gap. It will draw on the findings and networks of the Crossing Boundaries process to engage Aboriginal peoples in a discussion on how ICTs can or should be used in their communities and governments, including the impact of language and cultural barriers, literacy and the restricted access to the Internet in remote areas.
In a nutshell, the focus of the Aboriginal Voice project is threefold:
The Keewaytinook Okimakanak Telehealth team planned and delivered a very successful gathering in Sioux Lookout on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov 17-18. First Nation Health Directors and Community Telehealth Coordinators from across the Sioux Lookout Health Zone met to discuss the development of telehealth in their communities. There were approximately 80 people participating in this important planning event.
Click here to see a list of the members of the KO Telehealth team from Balmertown, Sioux Lookout and the First Nations across the north. They were joined and supported by:
Other guests joining the folks from the north included:
Watch for the pictures in Telehealth Photo gallery (click here) and for further updates and reports in the KO Telehealth web site at:
On November 20, 2004, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of State for Public Health, visited the Keewaytinook Okimakanak office in Sioux Lookout.
Roger Valley, MP, hosted the Minister during her visit to the Kenora riding. On Saturday, Minister Bennett and Roger drove from Dryden in a snow storm to participate in the planned session.
After meeting the K-Net team at the Keewaytinook Okimakanak office, a driving tour of the Kuhkenah Network including the new 7.3M satellite earthstation provided the minister with an orientation about the work being done in delivering community based connectivity solutions for remote communities across northern Ontario. The tour included the community’s health care facilities with presentations and demonstrations at the Teleheath and Teleradiology facilities at Menoyawin Health Care Centre.
Returning to the Keewaytinook Okimakanak office building, a virtual Minister’s Roundtable on Public Health and Technology took place. This was accomplished through a video conference, linking Sioux Lookout with Balmertown, Thunder Bay and Keewaywin First Nation. The event included presentations on programs including: Telehealth; Diabetes; Aboriginal Head Start; Tobacco and the proposed KO Virtual Health Access Centre.
Participants in the roundtable discussion and presentations included representatives from the Keewaytinook Okimakanak’s (KO) Balmertown office and their Teleheath Program (Penny Carpenter) and Research Institute in Thunder Bay (Brian Walmark). As well as representatives from Keewaywin First Nation (Chief Raymond Mason and his team of health care providers) and Lac Seul First Nation (Chief David Gordon and Jennifer Manitowabi); Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (Janet Gordon), SLAAMB (Sam Manitowabi), Northern Ontario School of Medicine (Orpah McKenzie, Aboriginal Affairs Director and Dr. Dan Hunt, Western Campus Dean) and Health Canada (Mike Lovett, Zone Director).
The roundtable meeting was followed by a traditional feast of wild food (goose, wild rice, moose, fish, deer, bannock, blueberry pie, etc) that was coordinated by Jeannie Carpenter and Tabatha Jourdain.
Geordi Kakepetum, Executive Director of Keewaytinook Okimakanak commented in the Nov 10 press release, “it is always a pleasure to showcase and celebrate with government officials and our partners, the work that has been achieved with their strategic investments in First Nations communities and organizations.”
“It is a privilege to have the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of State for Public Health, visit the Kenora riding. The Minister has expressed a keen interest to learn more about the uniqueness of the Kenora riding in terms of public health issues as well as the use of technology to address public health needs” added Roger Valley, MP, Kenora.
For further information contact:
Trudy Griffiths, Executive Assistant, Roger Valley, MP (807) 221-7060
The K-Net Story - Weaving the Networked Economy has now been released in a video format. This new video production produced by George Ferreira, a Phd candidate at the University of Guelph, pulled this one together after visiting all the KO First Nations and various K-Net partners.
The K-Net Story can be found at:
This video production is available on a DVD which is divided up into six
chapters (Introduction, Network Development, Economic Development, Health
Care, Education and Visions for the Future). The entire video is 30 minutes
Everyone's feedback and comments on the K-Net Story video production is appreciated. Please e-mail me at email@example.com