New Democrats Launch "Shannen’s Dream” Campaign

Shannen Koostachin had a dream – that all First Nation children should be able to get an education in clean, “comfy” schools just as non-Native children. Sadly the 15-year-old Cree youth died this past May in a car accident before seeing her dream become a reality. Despite her loss, Shannen’s Dream is inspiring others to carry on the fight.

This morning in Ottawa, national First Nation, education, labour and children’s rights leaders came together to launch the Shannen’s Dream campaign to call on the government to end the double-standard that exists between First Nation schools and provincially-funded schools.

“Shannen was tireless in her fight for equitable school rights for First Nation children,” said New Democrat Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) who introduced a motion in the House of Commons to push the Conservatives to finally act on this national disgrace. “She became the face of a generation of forgotten First Nation school children. We are carrying on the work she started so that other children will not be left behind."

The campaign is being supported by leaders in Canada’s education community. Labour activists and student leaders have also taken up the fight.

Angus says it’s time that the federal government fixed the funding problems on reserves.

“Shannen was an inspiring young woman who has been recognized nationally and internationally for her human rights work for education,” said Angus. “I am amazed at how many people are coming forward to make her legacy a reality.”