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Bill C-33 unilaterally rejected by Chiefs. Feds call it collaborative

Friday, May 30, 2014   by: Staff



On Tuesday May 27, 2014 Batchewana leadership attended the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Special Chief’s Assembly to discuss the federal government’s controversial (proposed) Bill C-33.

The Act titled “First Nations Control of First Nations Education” suggests that First Nations would be granted jurisdiction over education however, the proposed act in itself is an exercise of federal power, that would actually increase federal control of First Nations education, and decrease First Nations’ control.  

First Nations leadership from across the country gathered at the Assembly to discuss just that.

Chief after chief presented countless reasons as to why the act infringed on their inherent rights and why their communities directed them to vote against endorsing the proposed bill.  

By the end of the assembly the chief’s had made it clear through passionate, emotional presentations that they knew what was best for their communities, and that was not Bill C- 33.

The chief’s in assembly rejected the bill by consensus demonstrating a united front on a crucial issue, which they felt, would have had devastating impacts to future generations.

The chiefs further, by consensus called on Canada to engage in an honourable process with First Nations that recognizes and supports regional and local diversity leading to true First Nation control of education based on inherent and aboriginal treaty rights.

Chief Dean Sayers had the following to say of the assembly, “It was empowering to see the level of unity from First Nations across Canada. There is much work to be done in regards to the AFN and the Confederacy of Nations, as we move forward to resolve outstanding issues with the Canadian government, but more so in the redevelopment of our own governance systems, and jurisdiction.”

Before Batchewana leadership had even left the meeting, Minister Valcourt had already made a statement expressing his disappointment, and making mention to a failed agreement.

In response to the statement Chief Dean Sayers remarked, “It is comments like these that completely undermine the consultative process and clearly demonstrate Minister Valcourt’s one-sided approach and attempt to unilaterally legislate First Nations' on-reserve education."


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
right wing 5/31/2014 11:08:43 AM Report

Might be helpful if they listed those countless reasons.
How about just the top ten.
Talk about a low information "news release".
right wing 5/31/2014 11:14:27 AM Report

It would seem there is a differing of opinions on this.
You can get some real information thanks to the internet.

From CBC News

On Tuesday, however, Meadow Lake Tribal Council and the Battleford Tribal Chiefs said they want the government to reintroduce the bill in the House of Commons.

The chiefs said it's time to put politics aside and address chronic underfunding on reserve schools — something they think C-33 could help them achieve.

"It is time that we get Bill C-33 back on track and roll up our sleeves and get to work on developing a regulatory framework together," Chief Lori Whitecalf of Sweetgrass First Nation said in a news release.

Bellegarde, believed to be in the running in the race to replace Atleo, said it's OK to have varying opinions among First Nations about what the education bill should look like.

"You have 633 First Nations in Canada," he said. "You tell me: are the Liberals unified? Are the Conservatives unified? Well, there you go ... You just respect the diversity."

According to the government, if the bill becomes law, it will provide $1.9 billion in new money to First Nations education.

Critics, including many chiefs, said it's unacceptable because it gives too much control to the minister of aboriginal affairs, doesn't protect treaty rights, and doesn't include enough money to make a difference for First Nations children.
WTF4 5/31/2014 12:46:32 PM Report

Boy, my kids and grandkids would sure like some of that money...not enough?
steelworker 5/31/2014 1:34:09 PM Report

You're not a member of the priviledged class.
ThinkAgain 5/31/2014 1:42:03 PM Report

Here comes another road blockade, another idle no more issue. Whos going on the hungry strike? lol
guestwho 5/31/2014 1:46:04 PM Report

Chief Dean Sayers had the following to say of the assembly, “It was empowering to see the level of unity from First Nations across Canada.
Why is it when one of their own needs help,who ends up footing the bill,eg.floods =hotels,flights,where`s the unity then??
guestwho 5/31/2014 1:47:57 PM Report

no more comments please,unless they`re positive or comments will be closed,thanks!
right wing 5/31/2014 4:17:13 PM Report

First Nations Chiefs are no different than any other politician, they love to do low information "news releases" or any kind for that long as their picture and name get into the media.
soowat 5/31/2014 7:27:14 PM Report

Simple really. If Harpo wants it--it's wrong,regardless of the issue.
Frio 5/31/2014 9:05:30 PM Report

Are not the Batchewana Band children attending schools operated by the local school boards in the city? They have no on reserve schools of their own so how much input and control do they really have locally with FN education?
freedom1 6/1/2014 5:58:10 AM Report

Natives aren't given a free ride ignoramous. Your government made treaties which included rights to education. Now you want to take peoples rights away what kind of tyrant are you. If you want to take natives rights away you are racist and a fool.
dericklenius 6/1/2014 7:59:25 PM Report

I hope that all you people hating on Aboriginals have children. And those children can go through the same as us. Then see your shitty situation and have us laugh at you.
canadiens_8 6/1/2014 8:03:30 PM Report

Hey, why don't they just throw up another protest, blocking major streets in the town because they aren't happy. So much for equality in this country.
dericklenius 6/1/2014 8:25:39 PM Report

Give me your address, me and my tribe will come protest your ignorance in your driveway for a week.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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