Attawapiskat School A Victory For Northern Kids

New Democrats are welcoming the federal government’s new commitment to build a grade school for the isolated Attawapiskat First Nation by 2013.

“This community’s fight for a decent school has become a powerful symbol of Ottawa’s negligence towards First Nation children,” said local MP Charlie Angus (Timmins–James Bay). “We welcome this pledge to build a school in Attawapiskat, but Canada shouldn’t have to be shamed into action. The fight for equal education rights is clearly far from over.”

Ottawa’s funding announcement comes on the eve of a United Nations meeting in New York over Canada’s failure to protect the basic school rights of First Nation children.

Last year, Angus helped launched the Shannen’s Dream campaign in honour of the late Shannen Koostachin, a youth leader who led a national fight for a school in Attawapiskat. Angus says the campaign is focused on ending the funding discrimination faced by First Nation school children across Canada.
“The Shannen’s Dream campaign is shining a light on the appalling school conditions many on-reserve children face. The fact that this issue is now being examined by the United Nations is a sign of the extent of this government’s failure to protect the basic needs of First Nation children,” said Angus.