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Assembly of First Nations chief talk education in Ottawa

Yellowknife, NWT – Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus is in Ottawa meeting with other Assembly of First Nations chiefs on the Harper Government’s Aboriginal Education Bill.

It was tabled in Parliament Apr. 10 and has generated debate and division among chiefs, many of whom cite serious issues with the proposed legislation.

Critics say the act puts too much control in the hands of the government and there was a lack of consultation with First Nations.

The bill deals with on-reserve education.

Despite there only being two reserves in the Northwest Territories, Erasmus says his people are still affected.

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“We need to have some provisions that provide for our people to set up the kind of education that they want. If that includes the federal government or the territorial government, then that’s quite possible but in the first instance we have to be in control of our own education.”

There is only one on-reserve school in the territory, but Erasmus says education curriculum at schools out in the communities should be controlled by Aboriginals.

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