Former PM Martin confident good change coming to First Nations healthcare, education
Martin spoke to reporters at Manitoba's Brandon University on Friday
Former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin believes Canada's newly-minted Liberal government will take charge on issues surrounding First Nations education and healthcare.
Paul Martin made the comments at Manitoba's Brandon University Friday afternoon after receiving a honorary doctorate of law from the post-secondary institution.
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Martin was in the Wheat City for the convocation ceremony and gave a speech that focused largely on Indigenous education. It was in-between his attendance at the federal Liberal convention in Winnipeg, which kicked off Thursday.
"The main issue at the Liberal convention was in fact First Nations education, healthcare and child welfare," Martin told reporters afterwards.
Martin was a key player in the Kelowna Accord, an agreement with Canada's provinces, territories, and First Nations leaders to eliminate gaps in education, healthcare, housing and economic opportunities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. It's an issue he has continued to work on since leaving office and believes the current government will make headway.
"The prime minister has really taken probably the leadership on this issue," said Martin. "What the minister of Indigenous Affairs has said, I think it's very clear. There is real change out there and this government is going to lead it."
Martin founded the Martin Aboriginal Initiative to identify issues impacting Aboriginals Canadians with a focus on education and economic impact.
"This is a national issue and it's not restricted to any [one] level of government," he said.