INAC press release ...
Minister Prentice and Anishinabek Nation Sign Governance Agreement-in-Principle
NIPISSING FIRST NATION, ON, Feb. 16 - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, today signed a Governance Agreement-in-Principle (AIP). The AIP establishes a framework for the Anishinabek Nation, represented in the negotiations by the Union of Ontario Indians, to assume greater control over its own institutions of government.
"Canada's New Government is committed to working with First Nations to support stronger First Nation governments as a key step in improving the lives of First Nation people," said Minister Prentice. "This important agreement sets the groundwork for participating First Nations to adopt new governance institutions and structures that are more responsive and more accountable to their communities."
"The AIP on Governance is one step toward eliminating the Indian Act, re-asserting our jurisdiction, and re-establishing our own Anishinaabe forms of government," said Grand Council Chief Beaucage, who represents the forty-plus member First Nations of the Anishinabek Nation. "We look forward to completing these negotiations and forging new relationships with Canada that provide practical and effective ways to implement our inherent right to self-government and improve living conditions for our people."
The Agreement provides the framework for the establishment of the Anishinabek Nation government and for the recognition of First Nation governments with law-making authority in four core governance areas: leadership selection, citizenship, culture and language, and management and operations of government.
The Agreement also reflects the Government of Canada's support for replacing outdated provisions of the Indian Act with a modern legislative framework for First Nations governance. It provides a practical approach for supporting First Nations to strengthen their internal governance and solidify the political and financial accountability of First Nation governments to their citizens, while operating within the Canadian Constitutional framework.
The Agreement-in-Principle concludes the second of a three-stage negotiation process, and is not legally binding. A Final Agreement becomes legally binding on the parties only once it has been approved by the participating First Nations' citizens and brought into force through federal legislation. An Anishinabek Nation Framework Agreement on Governance was signed by the parties on November 26, 1998. As negotiations proceeded, the Province of Ontario has been kept apprised of developments.
The Anishinabek Nation and the Government of Canada have also been negotiating toward a "Final Agreement with Respect to the Exercise of Education Jurisdiction." An Agreement-in-Principal on education was signed by the parties in 2002.
The UOI is the oldest First Nation political organization in Ontario. It was incorporated as the secretariat arm of the Anishinabek Nation in 1949 and traces its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires which existed long before European contact. The Anishinabek Nation has a population of approximately 50,000 citizens, and comprises one-third of all First Nation communities in Ontario.
For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice, (819) 997-0002; INAC Media Relations, (819) 953-1160; Monica Lister, Executive Liaison Officer, Union of Ontario Indians/Anishinabek Nation, (705) 498-5552; Mary Laronde, Communications Coordinator, Union of Ontario Indians/Anishinabek Nation, (705) 497-9127; This press release is also available on the Internet at http://www.inac-ainc.gc.ca and www.anishinabek.ca
Costs dictate cutting adult education
By Shelley Bujold - Miner and News - February 14, 2007
Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board opted Tuesday to cut its losses and end its adult education program.
The board, which had to deal with lost revenue of nearly $2 million last summer in a budget providing total operating expenditures of $73.5 million and total capital expenditures of $10.3 million, made the move against mounting long-term financial pressures. The board knowingly operated the adult education program with budgeted losses of $616,168 for 2006/2007.
Operation costs were budgeted for this school year at $489,444 with only $278,306 in revenue for a loss before facility operations of $211,109. Related costs to operate the facilities are budgeted at a net cost of just over $400,000.
“I don’t think anybody’s happy about it but we have to do it,” said board chairman Dave Penny, after the motion was passed.
Dean Carrie, manager of finance at the board, said the board’s obligation lies with those students they are mandated to educate and that’s those under 21 years of age. Money being spent in other areas takes away from their educational experience when the program is at a loss, especially when the program is not breaking even.
“Our primary obligation is for students under 21 years of age,” said Carrie, who reported changes to the delivery model over the past few years to cut costs have failed.
An outline of financial results for 2003-2004 through 2005-2006 provided to the board, revealed operating losses, even without taking facility costs into account. The losses including facility operations totaled over half a million dollars a year: $588,198 in 2003-2004; $734,638 in 2004-2005; and $679,071 in 2005-2006.
While the board made its decision Tuesday, when the program is closing is still being negotiated. The board contracts its business arm, Crescive Corporation, to run the adult education program along with others services such as transportation.
Director of education Janet Wilkinson, who sits on the Crescive Corporation board as one of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board representatives, said Tuesday that Crescive is also losing about $33,000 a year on running the program.
The contract for the program runs out August 2008 but if the two parties come to a consensus, they can terminate the program early -- likely at the end of this school year.
The adult education program in Kenora underwent a move and renovation last summer to where it’s currently located across the street from Beaver Brae High School. There are facilities in Dryden and Sioux Lookout as well.
Trustee Gerald Kleist, of Ear Falls, said the decision to cut these services was difficult. Funding in the area of adult education is not likely in the near future and continuing it at a loss is not a good option to the board which is already having difficulties with recent reductions in funding.
Some adult education options remain
By Shelley Bujold - Miner and News - February 16, 2007
Despite the cancellation of adult education at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, there are other adult-based educational opportunities in the community.
The board, along with its partner company Crescive Corporation who runs the adult education program for the board, have finalized the closing date for Aug. 31, 2007. At this time all courses will cease and students will have to go through other options to complete their high school diploma or upgrade courses.
The school board made its decision after being unable to find a delivery model which did not lose money.
“Our primary obligation is for students under 21 year of age,” said Carrie, manager of finance at the board.
Confederation College’s Pat Pernsky said they would have liked to work closer with the adult education program as they recognized its value across the district.
“Maybe there’s something we can do to meet the needs of the community,” she said.
General education development certificates, which are accepted as high school equivalent with many businesses, are available at Confederation College. This testing offers students a chance to show their knowledge on a high-based level. Students can write it on their own and pick up a textbook at the college, or take a course geared to prepare for the test. Daytime course options offer the possibility of a bursary if a student is qualified to receive it, said Pernsky.
Pre-apprentice and apprenticeship programs are also available at the college with different ones being offer every year.
Careers in the medical field can also be taken locally. Some courses need prerequisites, she said, which can often be taken at the college before getting into the program. These include pre-health which covers biology and others for the nursing program.
If unsure about which career path to take, Pernsky said she can help solve the maze of post-secondary education.
“Some people need some encouragement, some assistance and they need an education plan,” she said.
Another option for adult education lies in correspondence and online opportunities. The TVOntario Independent Learning Centre, a program run through the government, allows students to pick up high school credits through a combination of both. Students can seek help from a teacher online, but send in their work to be marked to the offices. Most core classes are available through this method like English, math and some sciences.
To get information go online to www.ilc.org or call 1-800-387-5512.