On February 24, 2010 at Tsuu T'ina First Nation the Grand Chiefs of Treaty No. 6, Treaty No. 7 and Treaty No. 8 along with the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Ministers of Education and Aboriginal Relations from the Province of Alberta signed the Memorandum of Understanding on First Nations education in the province of Alberta.

The MOU establishes and strengthens meaningful relationships among Canada, the Province of Alberta, and the First Nations of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 and Treaty 8 to collectively address all aspects of the education system in order to achieve better educational outcomes for First Nation children in Alberta.

In his speech to the gathering of more than 200 people that day at the Tsuu T'ina School, then Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said:

"Education is the way for individuals to succeed, for communities to function well, for societies to flourish, and for economies to prosper.

"Well-educated and skilled workers are needed for First Nation communities, for jobs in Alberta's key sectors, and for employers across Canada.

"In order to get from here to there, we need the kind of new relationships that we're building through this Memorandum of Understanding. Relationships that recognize that each partner brings something special to the table. And that collective strength fosters innovation and success."

The MOU is the result of concentrated efforts by all parties, beginning in 2009 with resolutions passed by the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs (AoTC) identifying an Education Working group with representation by the three Treaty organizations. From this starting point, the Government of Alberta and the AoTC delivered a proposal to Indian Affairs Minister Strahl in June 2009 to develop an MOU. The Minister accepted the proposal and staff from all parties were assigned to begin discussions to develop an MOU. A working group drafted the MOU over a period of six months with direction from their respective senior officials, and then presented the draft to all parties in November 2009. Recommended changes were incorporated and the final draft was approved on January 27, 2010.

Since the signing of the MOU by elected leaders, an all-party MOU working group has developed an implementation framework to assist in fulfilling the commitments of the MOU. Implementation will be an ongoing process that will evolve to meet the changing dynamics of First Nations education in Alberta.

MOU for First Nations Education in Alberta Newsletters

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