BREAKING NEWS: Iroquois Caucus rejects First Nations Education Act

For immediate release

KAHNAWA:KE – The Iroquois Caucus announced today that they have signed a Declaration unanimously rejecting the Harper government’s proposed First Nations Education Act.

The resolution was passed during a duly-convened two-day meeting of the Caucus, which is comprised of elected leaders from Akwesasne, Kahnawa:ke, Oneida of the Thames, Six Nations of the Grand River, Tyendinaga and Wahta.

The Resolution states that the Iroquois Caucus member communities reject the First Nations Education Act in its entirety, including all of its components and contents, and any and all federally or provincially imposed legislation in this matter.

Additionally, the member communities demand that Canada recognize and respect the Aboriginal Right to jurisdictional control of our own education systems and meet with our communities to discuss and take steps necessary to address chronic underfunding of our education systems.

The Caucus has pledged that they will take all actions necessary to work with partners to counter the proposed legislation.

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  1. I don’t quite get it.

    The only treaties that call for the Crown to maintain a school and/or a teacher on each reserve are the numbered treaties across western Canada from northwestern Ontario to northeastern British Columbia.

    And the Mohawk and other Six Nations bands say they are sovereign on their reserves so why aren’t they alone paying for the schools, teachers, equipment and supplies to educate their children on their reserves?

    1. “The only treaties that call for the Crown to maintain a school and/or a teacher on each reserve are the numbered treaties across western Canada from northwestern Ontario to northeastern British Columbia.”

      While education was written into the number treaties its true, the requirement for education for all Bands is a fudiciary duty brought on the government by years of interference and abuses like the residential schools.

        1. Under what law were Indians in Canada made quote “wards of the state” so the government would have to fund all infrastructure, services and programs on Indian reserves?

          If you say the Indian Act, under that Act, Indians are not obliged to stay on Indian reserves.

          And, in 1969, the Trudeau Liberal government wrote a “White Paper” proposing to abolish the Indian Act but Indian chiefs fought against abolition of the Indian Act and even wrote what has been called a “Red Paper” against abolition of the Indian Act.

          So, who wants to remain wards of the state?

        2. By the way, the Crown defines who is Indian because the Crown promised in some treaties with Indians to give annuities (money) to individual Indians on Indian reserves and the Crown wants to make sure those annuities go to the proper people not to those who are not Indians and who don’t deserve the annuities.

        3. Another arrogant and assumptive action on the part of the Crown. Who gave the Crown the right to decide who is and is not Indian? You write as though what they did was legal. It is NOT! And what’s more, you know it!

        4. Would you rather see people who are not Indians get money the Crown promised to Indians?

        5. Then how is it to be determined? It looks to me that there are almost no full bloods left any more. In fact, around here, most of the FN women wouldn’t even consider dating, much less marrying, a FN man.

        6. I’m so sick of you Garry, that I’m NOT going to do your work for you. There IS a procedure in government and it’s up to you to discover it all by your little bitty self. The rest of your comment is just another example of your verbose style of writing. It’s akin to one liking the sound of one’s own voice!

        7. Educate yourself better on first nations issues before you open your pie-hole with ignorant questions. The Indian Act was made to control native lands and its resources, and was actually to eliminate all first nations people. Genocide didn’t work nor disease or starvation. Also, not allowing first nations to defend themselves in court until the late 1960’s. We first nations have more support from other foreign countries than right here in Canada and they even know helluva lot more than canadians about us! What does that tell you about yourself?

        8. Yes, we know things were done in the wrong way in the past. We know the IA is ridiculous. But we don’t know the grounds on which this new education bill is being rejected. Reserve schools are private schools…yes? So they are getting funded the same way as any private school.

    1. No. Six Nations and Tyendinaga are the only ones who have resisted the governments attetmpts to download education funding & administration to the bands. Their schools haven’t experienced the same problems in the past.

      However, the government downloaded education responsibilities to bands a number of years ago with the administraive support and at much less funding in an attempt to save money. Then they turn around and say that the bands can’t run it properly and so you will find today (Friday) in the meat of the announcement that the Provinces will oversee the administration of the school boards. The end goal for the government isn’t about education but more about the surrending of all rights and obligations to First Nations to the province that that reserves become nothing less than municipalities. This is all contained in the FNEA and is the primary reason most have rejected it.

      1. I thought natives on Indian reserves wanted more autonomy to run their affairs themselves on their reserves according to the 1763 Royal Proclamation that says Indians should not be molested or disturbed on their reserves.

        1. Are you now suggesting Indians don’t believe in the conditions set out in the 1763 Royal Proclamation?

          Are you now suggesting Indians don’t want to run their affairs themselves on their reserves?

        2. I am in a way, half agreeing with you that everyone living in this country should be as an equal. And so this means that a high percentage of cuacasion will need to leave or be culled, and we should start this action with our useless politicians!

        1. Yes. Even in this day and age, provincial education agencies do not accommodate the needs and cultural practices of First Nation children. Teachers have little or no knowledge of Indigenous history and issues and boards have very little patience for extra funding requirements of any school board. The federal government currently underfunds reserve schools by over 50% in some cases. That shortfall will require the violation of rights by provinces by insisting First Nations pay taxes like all municpalities to partially fund the shortfall.

          All this and the other things the Conservatives have instituted in the past 8 years is designed to hasten the assimilation of First Nations and takes its lead right out of the 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy, the end goal of which is total assimilation and termination of First Nations reserves.

        2. So they are funded the same as any private school is, and are required to follow the provincial cirriculum. How is this wrong? A diploma has to mean something specific.

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