Anaya urges Canada not to rush education legislation

October 23, 2013

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues James Anaya was in Canada earlier this month to visit First Nations communities and meet with Indigenous leaders to discuss a variety of topics, including Indigenous education. In a speech at the conclusion of his visit, Anaya spoke to a deep mistrust expressed by many Indigenous educators regarding the proposed First Nations Education Act, stating he “urge[s] the government not to rush forward with this legislation but to reinitiate discussions with Aboriginal leaders to develop a process and ultimately a bill that addresses Aboriginal concerns and incorporates Aboriginal viewpoints.” Anaya heard from representatives of the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) in BC who expressed fears that federal legislation will disrupt already-existing agreements in that province. Anaya also heard from Prince Albert Grand Council Grand Chief Ron Michel, and Métis National Council President Clément Chartier about specific concerns regarding education. CBC | Global News | FNESC News Release | PA Daily Herald | MNC News Release