Harper government poised to table First Nation education bill this week

The Harper government is expected table its controversial proposed bill on First Nations education as early as Thursday, APTN National News has learned.

(Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces plans in February to table a First Nation education bill during press conference on the Blood reserve in Alberta.)

APTN National News
OTTAWA–The Harper government is expected table its controversial proposed bill on First Nation education as early as Thursday, APTN National News has learned.

The bill, called the First Nation Control over First Nation Education Act, has been placed on the Order Paper, which sets out the planned agenda for MPs in the House of Commons.

Unveiled in February amid much fanfare by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo, the planned bill has since met resistance from many First Nation leaders and grassroots activists.

The bill, however, comes with $1.9 billion in promised cash for education, with the largest portion slated to flow following the 2015 federal election.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt says the current incarnation of the bill follows the conditions agreed to by First Nation chiefs during an AFN assembly this past December.

Valcourt has said the regulations associated with the bill will be developed in conjunction with First Nation chiefs. Many chiefs, however, wanted to co-draft the legislation.

Critics of the bill say it will give more control to Ottawa over First Nation education.

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