Federal Government must withdraw Bill C-33

On April 4, the Chiefs Council of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) unanimously endorsed Resolution 2014-12, that rejected Bill C-33, First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act (FNCFNEA) and called for engagement with First Nations in BC to advance the BC First Nations Perspective: First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act position paper, according to a press release from UBCIC.

Here's more from the press release:

“Bill C-33 reflects Canada’s interpretation of control by ensuring that control remains with the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs with 'advice' from a Joint Council of Education Professionals leaving First Nations across the country to choose from the menu set by the federal government” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President.

“The Bill imposes increased federal supervision, burdensome compliance and enforcement requirements, by imposing unilateral national standards and increased administrative reporting. With this bill, the federal government is plowing ahead with its punitive 'take it or leave it, resistance is futile' approach to First Nations where the Minister reigns and remains the supreme authority to appoint third party management or revoke a designation of a First Nation Education Authority.”

Chief Bob Chamberlin, UBCIC Vice-President, continued “UBCIC firmly believes the federal government's legislative process must meaningfully engage First Nations in all regions across this country in a manner that recognizes our inherent rights to self-determination, fulfills the Crown’s unique fiduciary obligations towards First Nations and upholds the honour of the Crown. Bill C-33 must be tabled and be replaced by a process consistent with section 35 of the Constitution Act, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and, most relevant, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Chief Judy Wilson, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer, concluded "Renewed discussions must honour the regional diversity across this country. By resolution the UBCIC supports the BC Education Jurisdiction Framework Agreement (EJFA) and the continued implementation of the Tripartite Education Framework Agreement (TEFA).

To proceed with Bill C-33 and the consequential amendments to the federal First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act, blatantly ignores decades of community-based advocacy and development of a process where our children's education is the first and foremost priority."

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