Valcourt reaches out to First Nations leaders unhappy with draft education plan - InfoNews

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Valcourt reaches out to First Nations leaders unhappy with draft education plan

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt is pictured October 22, 2013 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
December 13, 2013 - 10:20 AM

OTTAWA - The federal government is trying to salvage its plan to reform First Nations education — a plan that's been under siege from chiefs far and wide.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt has written an open letter urging aboriginal leaders to reconsider an education bill that would put more control in the hands of First Nations themselves.

The letter is a response to an earlier missive from national chief Shawn Atleo, who last month laid out five conditions for moving ahead with reforms.

Valcourt says the government plan already meets all five conditions, and also deals with issues raised by the federal auditor general in a 2011 report.

Valcourt also points out that chiefs have directed Atleo and the Assembly of First Nations to continue working with the government.

Graduation rates among aboriginal children are dramatically lower than among non-aboriginal children — a long-standing impediment to prosperity that all sides believe needs to be addressed.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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