BUDGET WILL BE THE TEST FOR IMPROVING FIRST NATIONS EDUCATION: HUGHES

Ottawa –  The well-known challenges facing many schools on First Nations cannot be solved without the appropriate resources which means money in the budget, in the opinion of Carol Hughes.

The MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing spoke to a New Democrat motion calling on the government to adopt Shannen’s dream in parliament on Thursday.  The motion includes specific recommendations designed to ensure schools on First Nations are able to deliver an education comparable to that received by most other Canadian children and will require spending in the upcoming budget to match any support for the motion in the House of Commons. 

Hughes indicated that the challenges are well known and chose to use her time to make a common sense call for action on the issues that prevent many First Nations students from receiving a reasonable education in a healthy environment.

“It is difficult to understand how we can have a thoroughly modern country,” said Hughes, “yet are unable to deliver the kind of education that makes all the difference in a child’s development for a significant portion of our population who live on First Nations.”

Hughes noted that the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development is currently studying Land-Use and Sustainable Economic Development and that an important precondition for that is a good education.

“This motion today addresses the conditions that are needed to ensure that any training received on reserves has roots set in solid ground,” said Hughes.  “That ground is a good education - one that allows a person to be a life-long learner able to develop more skills and become a net benefit to themselves, their community, our country and its economy”

While the Conservatives spoke in support of the motion during debate, there is no shortage of good intentions that fall short of the words spoken in the House of Commons on this subject.  If the motion passes next week, the next step will be for the government to make the appropriate allocations in the upcoming budget.

 

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For More Information:

Jamie Burgess, Office of Carol Hughes, 613-996-5389 or hughec0@parl.gc.ca