Thunder Bay

Canadian, Ontario governments sign education memorandum of understanding with Grand Council Treaty #3

A new agreement between the Canadian federal government, Ontario government, and Grand Council Treaty #3 is aimed at helping improve education for Indigenous youth.

Agreement aimed at helping three parties work together to boost education for Indigenous youth

Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief Grand Council Treaty #3, said a new education MOU between Treaty #3, the province, and the federal government, "is a major step toward creating a brighter future for the Anishinaabe Nation." (Grand Council Treaty #3)

A new agreement between the Canadian federal government, Ontario government, and Grand Council Treaty #3 is aimed at helping improve education for Indigenous youth.

The three parties announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the matter on Friday, which will help preserve, support and revitalize the language, culture and identity of Treaty #3 First Nations by supporting First Nations control of education to improve student success for First Nations youth in Northwestern Ontario," Indigenous Services Canada stated in a media release issued Friday.

"The MOU creates a forum for all of us to work together to help Treaty #3 students reach their full learning potential,"  Indigenous Services Canada Minister Marc Miller said during a media event held after the signing. "It paves the way, foremost, for a better educational system for the 1,300, or more, First Nations students who live on Treaty #3 territory."

"We all want education to provide the setting in which First Nations children can develop the fundamental attitudes and values that will prepare them for their journey through life," he said. "I'm so encouraged to see that Treaty #3 peoples' tradition and culture placed at the at the heart of this education MOU."

Grand Treaty #3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh was not present at the media briefing.

However, in a statement, Kavanaugh said the MOU is a "major step toward creating a brighter future for the Anishinaabe Nation."

"Ensuring that our educators and knowledge keepers have the opportunities they need to develop better education systems is essential to revitalizing our language and culture and creating better outcomes for our students."

The federal government is providing $1.16 million, and the province $300,000, toward the implementation of the MOU, and will work with Treaty #3 to establish an action plan that will guide the MOU's progress, the media release states.

Treaty #3 territory covers a 143,000 square kilometre area that runs from the Manitoba border to north of Sioux Lookout and west of Thunder Bay. The territory includes 28 communities, 17 of which are signatories to the MOU.

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