Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement Act is now law


AES OFFICE, Nipissing First Nation (December 18, 2017) — On December 14, 2017, Bill C-61, the Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement Act, passed through Canada’s Legislative process and is now law. Just two days earlier, representatives from the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body attended the Senate Committee meeting to make submissions on Bill C-61.

“The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body was pleased to present to the Senate and be a part of the legislative process. The deliberations showed promising support which will move us to the next step in supporting the future of our children,” expressed Kelly Crawford, Anishinabek Education System (AES) Education Direction. “The passing of this bill will be life changing for many of our citizens.”

The passage of Bill C-61 gives effect to the largest education self-government agreement in Canada. The Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement is a step out from under the Indian Act for the 23 Anishinabek First Nations toward greater self-determination and improved education outcomes for Anishinabek students.

Through this agreement, the First Nations will create the Anishinabek Education System – a system designed by the Anishinabek to deliver culturally-relevant and community-tailored education programs and services for the benefit of current and future generations of Anishinabek students. This includes promoting Anishinaabe culture and language.

The Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement lays the foundation for transformational change in the 23 Participating First Nations throughout Ontario, recognizing Anishinabek control over education on and off reserve from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, as well as administrative control over funding for post-secondary education.

The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body  continues to work towards the official opening of the Anishinabek Education System on  April 1, 2018.  Their work is focused on the system start-up activities in cooperation with the Participating First Nations, as well as Regional Education Councils meetings later this month.

“The passage of this law comes after 20 years of negotiations and a 2-year ratification process. Under this law, Canada recognizes First Nation jurisdiction.  Now we have to take the words off the page and create an education system that supports Anishinabek student success and well-being.  This is an exciting time for the Anishinabek First Nations,” says Tracey O’Donnell.

The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body (KEB) is a not-for-profit corporation that the Anishinabek First Nations approved by Grand Council Resolution in 2010. The KEB has a 12-member Board of Directors that is comprised of representatives from the four Anishinabek Regional Education Councils.

The KEB will support Participating First Nations (PFN) in their delivery of education programs and services. The KEB will liaise with the Province of Ontario on education matters when Anishinabek Education System is operational.