Mamu Tshishkutamashutau – Innu Education (2015)

Table of contents

Memorandum of Understanding
(Hereinafter referred to as the "MOU")

BETWEEN:

Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation,
as represented by its Chief and Council

-and-

Mushuau Innu First Nation,
as represented by its Chief and Council

-and-

Mamu Tshishkutamashutau – Innu Education Inc. (MTIE),
as represented by its Co-Chairs

-and-

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador,
as represented by the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD), the Minister of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Minister of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs

-and-

The Government of Canada,
as represented by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC)

Hereinafter referred to as "the Parties"

Whereas the Labrador Innu assumed complete responsibility for K-12 education services on the Innu Reserves of Natuashish and Sheshatshiu in 2009;

And Whereas, Mamu Tshishkutamashutau – Innu Education Inc. is an incorporated body formed by the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation and Mushuau Innu First Nation to administer K-12 education at the Sheshatshiu Innu School and Mushuau Innu Natuashish School;

Now Therefore the Parties agree as follows:

1. Objective

In a manner that is consistent with existing roles and responsibilities, the Parties agree to collaborate to support Innu students, in Newfoundland and Labrador, to achieve educational outcomes that enable Innu graduates to pursue further learning or training and become productive members of their communities and Canadian society.

  1. 1.1 This MOU is made without prejudice to the positions taken by a Party in any other forum respecting any issue including: Aboriginal and treaty rights and responsibility for funding Innu First Nation education.
  2. 1.2 The MOU is not to be construed as conferring, recognizing, limiting, denying, abrogating or derogating from any aboriginal, treaty, constitutional or other rights, benefits, claims or privileges of the Parties.  This Agreement is not a treaty or land claim agreement within the meaning of section 25 or 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

2. Principles

The Parties, as equal partners, intend that the MOU be interpreted and implemented in a tripartite manner that is consistent with the objective.

3. Commitments

In support of the above mentioned objective, the Parties make the following commitments:

Provincial Commitments

  1. EECD will share expertise to support MTIE's development of the kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) Innu schools' curriculum and pedagogy;
  2. EECD will share information with respect to professional learning and development opportunities for teachers of which MTIE teachers may avail; and
  3. EECD will support MTIE access to EECD purchasing prices for provincial learning resources.

MTIE Commitments

  1. MTIE will provide EECD with information to inform the provincial Annual General Return document;
  2. MTIE will offer a curriculum that meets provincial graduation requirements;
  3. MTIE will maintain a teaching staff comprised entirely of provincially certified educators;
  4. MTIE will ensure that Labrador Innu students on-reserve remain able to transition between Innu and public schools in Newfoundland and Labrador; and
  5. MTIE will ensure that the students who have received graduation certificates from schools operated by MTIE have received an education that meets provincial graduation requirements.

AANDC Commitments

  1. AANDC will continue to provide financial support for the delivery of elementary and secondary education services for students living on-Reserve; and,
  2. AANDC will alert MTIE to additional funding opportunities that may be available from time to time to increase the success of Labrador Innu students attending K-12 schools on-Reserve.

The above list of commitments is not intended to be exhaustive and additional areas may be added or adjusted in the future with the mutual agreement of the Parties.

4. Partnership Governance, Implementation and Monitoring

To support the implementation and monitoring of this partnership, a Working Group will be established. The Working Group will include representatives from MTIE, EECD, and AANDC, as identified by each organization. Additional representatives from other groups or departments deemed appropriate to the intent of the MOU, may be added with the agreement of all Parties. The Parties agree to the following implementation activities:  

  1. Within one year of signing this MOU, MTIE will prepare a draft Joint Action Plan designed to advance the objective and commitments identified above, for discussion and finalisation by the Working Group.
  2. The Working Group will meet on an as needed basis in order to implement, update, and monitor the outcomes of the Joint Action Plan. The Working Group will determine on a consensus basis when and where meetings will take place, and whether meetings will be held face-to-face, by video conference or by audio conference.  
  3. MTIE will have the primary responsibility, on behalf of the two First Nation parties, for implementing, monitoring, and evaluating this MOU and associated Joint Action Plan.
  4. The Parties agree that any information shared between them shall be done so in a manner that is consistent with all applicable, federal, provincial and municipal access to information and privacy legislation.
  5. Where required by law, MTIE shall obtain student, parent, or guardian consents, as applicable, for the collection of, or sharing of, students' personal information. All Parties agree that they will make reasonable efforts to minimize the need for the use of any personal information in undertaking any activity pursuant to this MOU. AANDC and the EECD agree to provide MTIE with information that may assist and inform education program enhancement and development as deemed appropriate by all Parties.

5. Term of the MOU

This MOU shall be in effect once representatives of all five Parties have signed it and shall remain in force unless terminated, in writing, by any Party upon 60 days' notice to all of the other Parties.

6. Scope of the MOU

This MOU is a statement of intent by the Parties and is not legally binding nor does it effect a transfer of jurisdiction, program responsibilities, or any other responsibility between or amongst the Parties.

This MOU does not define, create, recognize, deny or amend any of the rights of the Parties and does not oblige any Party to act in a manner inconsistent with Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, Mushuau Innu First Nation, or federal or provincial jurisdictions or authorities.

7. Amendment of the MOU

This MOU may be amended upon the written consent of all Parties.

Signatures

This MOU is signed by the Parties as follows:

On behalf of the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation

_________________________________
Chief Andrew Penashue
Date: __________________

On behalf of the Mushuau Innu First Nation

_________________________________
Chief Gregory Rich
Date: __________________

On behalf of Mamu Tshishkutamashutau – Innu Education Inc.

_________________________________
Bart Jack (Co-Chair) 
Date: __________________

_________________________________
Mary Jane Edmonds (Co-Chair)
Date: __________________

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