Algonquins Protest with AFN Chief Atleo for Education Rights

Share Button

The Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi held a rally on Highway 105 in protest of the chronic underfunding of First Nations education, particularly for on-reserve schools. New National Grand Chief Shawn Atleo protested in solidarity with the community.

Residents took to the highway at 7:00 am to hand out pamphlets and raise awareness. According to their research, on-reserve schools receive on average 25% less funding than mainstream schools. This means there is virtually no funding available for First Nations language instruction and very little support for off-reserve Natives who are struggling academically.

Kitigan Zibi Chief Gilbert Whiteduck spoke to the Nation just prior to the rally.

Post-secondary funding for First Nations people was another issue that Whiteduck said was bringing his people out onto the streets. Post-secondary education funding is available through one of Indian and Northern Affairs programs. However, Whiteduck and his people are offended by the fact that INAC is currently reviewing the program without the input of any First Nations individuals.

“We have been working hard at this and we believe that education is the way out of poverty. We want our young people to be prepared for the modern world while retaining their culture and language as that is critical, but we are getting the sense that the government of Canada is not taking us very seriously,” said Whiteduck.

Share Button

Comments are closed.