Feds introduce First Nations education bill

Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, speaks after Canadian Prime Minister...

Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, speaks after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the government's plans of fixing First Nations education in Canada in Stand Off, Alberta, February 7, 2014. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

Daniel Proussalidis, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:03 PM ET

OTTAWA — The feds are out with a new bill meant to transfer control of on-reserve education to aboriginal leaders, but Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn Atleo doesn't say if that's good enough.

"Now it's for First Nations to review and analyze the bill," said Atleo, adding the bill "marks a step in what's been an incredibly long journey."

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt introduced the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act to the Commons on Thursday.

"It will ensure that First Nations students can easily transition between on-reserve and provincial schools if they wish to do so and that students will graduate from on-reserve schools with a recognized certificate or diploma," Valcourt said. "The bill provides for First Nations to include language and culture in their education programs and the act does one more thing — it will finally repeal the provisions of the Indian Act that established residential schools."


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