Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Education Trumps Politics

Focus on strategy while establishing nationhood should be the priority of our actions rather than depending on AFN Executive to speak for the Nations.  We should not be under the illusion that a new National Chief is the answer or even that AFN is the answer.

But as it the chiefs, regional, PTO's, and AFN executive not realize how much potential and leverage they have to show the government of canada that we have the potential to cripple the education system off reserve?

Pulling our children from the system to being under the First Nations jurisdiction, even just for a short time, would be very effective in changing policy. 

Take a look at Saskatchewan for example;  There are approximately 4000 First Nations funded students that attend provincial schools and depending on tuition agreements that number could be approximately $40 million.  Thats $40 million that we can rightfully hold from the provinces.  Thats 4000 students that can learn in an environment that respects their culture, language and land.

We all know that AFN as it is today and prior to Atleos resignation, cannot serve its the purpose because of the many diverse communities. Why is the executive not listening to Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy when he asks that the confederacy of nations be revived?  POWER AND STATURE is the reason. The ones in control do not wish to relinquish it.  They are clinging onto their  chiefdom and 'job' rather than duties.

So while it is still here, we should use the AFN and PTO's as a tool by accessing and using their capacity to meet, coordinate, implement and force the government to meet with the First Nations or territories directly.  Force the AFN executive and the structure as it is now to empower nations and provide resources to meet and formulate nation building.

The AFN executive must hear the voice of their people prior to the May 15th and May 27th meetings.  They cannot rely on their technicians to guide their hearts.   After such, the AFN executive and PTO's must listen to the grassroots and assist in Nationhood building which could include providing templates for our own respective Nations education acts and assist in making the transition as easy as possible.   While many Chiefs of First Nations are busy running local band administration, politics and the front line, regional chiefs have the capacity to forum with members to see where they go from here and provide recommendations.

Until there is a body that can effectively force the government and industry to deal with the nations, we must use the resources of the AFN and PTO's while maintaing autonomy.   The AFN and executive are not rights holders, rather the AFN executive should be forcing the government to deal with our nations and territories directly.  

If there is to be an advocating body it it to be a grassroots membership directing the path.  Since there is no such body, the Confederacy of Nations would be the most inclusive of what is presently out there.  As I said above, I do not see the executive taking a chance on invoking such a logical and powerful structure. 
If the AFN executive fails to hear the voices they will prove they are irrelevant and redundant.
"The role of the National Chief and the AFN is to advocate on behalf of First Nations as directed by Chiefs-in-Assembly.  This includes facilitation and coordination of national and regional discussions and dialogue, advocacy efforts and campaigns, legal and policy analysis, communicating with governments, including facilitating relationship building between First Nations and the Crown as well as public and private sectors and general public.

The only solutions I feel is effective is local jurisdiction and responsibility.

We need not to beg the government to recognize our inherent right to educating our children.  We do not need them to give us permission to do everything necessary for our future generations.

We must establish curriculum based on our traditions, worldview and also include conventional education then implement it.

We have the solutions in our communities and the resources are on the front lines.  The educators, the parents, the elders, knowledge keepers and most importantly the youth are these resources and they should not be underestimated or ignored.

The present Education system does not meet the needs of our cultural identity, language, learning styles, the consideration of family dynamics, ceremony, and history.  So rather than forcing our children to accommodate the needs of an an education system that doesn't respect their needs, we should be forcing the education to accommodate our children's needs.  An action such as this would force the government to consult with First Nations or Territories directly.

An action like this is NOT idealistic or radical.  Its pride, faith and inherent knowledge that makes it possible.

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