Anishinabek Education System defies years of assimilation attempts, Grand Chief says
If vote passes, more than 30 First Nations will have powers similar to provincial school boards
Twenty years of negotiations over Indigenous education in Ontario are coming to a head this fall.
That's when First Nations through north and central Ontario are voting on the Anishinabek Education System.
If it passes, it will give more than 30 communities in the Anishinabek Nation powers similar to school boards, including developing curriculum and allocating resources.
The initiative is one of the most significant political activities of his long career, said Anishinabek Nation Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee because it has the power to restore language, culture and identity to First Nations children.
"One of our elders said a moose is a moose a duck is a duck and an Anishinabe is an Anishinabe, we can't be anything else," Madahbee said.
"All these attempts by various governments over the years to assimilate us and try to make us something we're not have not worked and will never work," he added.
A meeting about the Anishinabek Education System takes place tonight in Thunder Bay at the Victoria Inn, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Other meetings are scheduled across northern Ontario with a final ratification vote at the end of November.