Ottawa, Ontario (February 8, 2012) – The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today issued the following statement:
“Our Government recognizes that education is crucial to improving the quality of life for First Nations. We are committed to ensuring Aboriginals can prosper in Canada and take advantage of the opportunities that exist.
Today, the Panel released its final report that will provide feedback and recommendations on potential options to improve educational outcomes for First Nation students. Our Government will now review the Panel’s recommendations and determine a course of action.
Our priority, as identified in the Canada-First Nations Joint Action Plan, is to provide First Nation students with quality education that enables them to acquire the skills they need to enter the labour market and be full participants in a strong Canadian economy.
This priority was restated at the Crown-First Nations Gathering on January 24, 2012, where both the Government of Canada and First Nations agreed, upon mutual review of the report, to work together on a concrete way forward for First Nation students.
The Panel travelled across Canada leading discussions with First Nation leaders, parents, elders, students, teachers, provincial officials and the private sector. This provided an important opportunity to engage with interested individuals and groups and hear their opinions and ideas on how to improve education outcomes for First Nation students.
I am also extending our appreciation to those who participated in the engagement process. Your contribution is valuable.
Together, we are working to put students first and ensure they have an education that supports strong, self-sufficient individuals who can participate fully in Canada’s economic opportunities.
Again, I would like to thank the National Panel for their hard work and dedication to improving the educational outcomes of First Nation students.”
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