Grand Council Treaty #3, Canada and Ontario successfully concluded the negotiation of a tripartite education Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

May 14, 2021 — Treaty #3 Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

Grand Council Treaty #3, Canada and Ontario successfully concluded the negotiation of a tripartite education Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will foster mutual understanding and respect, and will help preserve, support and revitalize the language, culture and identity of Treaty #3 First Nations by supporting First Nations control of education to improve student success for First Nations youth in Northwestern Ontario.

Today, Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief of Grand Council Treaty #3, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, and the Honourable Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minster of Indigenous Affairs gathered in a virtual ceremony to sign the MOU, which will enrich the quality of education for First Nations youth in Treaty #3. The MOU intends to create a forum for the three parties to work collaboratively to help students reach their full learning potential and achieve educational success.

The federal and provincial governments have invested $1.16 million and $300,000, respectively, to support Grand Council Treaty #3 with the implementation of the MOU and will continue to assist the process as the parties establish a joint action plan that will guide the work and progress of the MOU.

Today’s ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the important trilateral partnership that will pave the way for a better educational system for over 1,300 First Nations students who live in Treaty #3 territory. Currently, 17 First Nations in Ontario have signed the agreement. The MOU is flexible and allows other First Nations in Treaty #3 to join in the future should they choose to do so.

“This tripartite agreement to work together to advance education in the Treaty #3 territory is a major step toward creating a brighter future for the Anishinaabe Nation. Ensuring that our educators and knowledge keepers have the opportunities they need to develop better education systems is essential to revitalizing our language and culture and creating better outcomes for our students.”

Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh

Grand Chief of Grand Council Treaty #3

“Today’s event celebrates the agreement to support Grand Council Treaty #3 First Nations control of education and is an important step toward reconciliation. This Memorandum of Understanding demonstrates Canada’s commitment to a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations.”

The Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Indigenous Services

“Every student deserves the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Today we are celebrating our collaborative work which will ensure equitable access to education opportunities for First Nations students. This builds on our government’s efforts to present students across Ontario with new, modern learning opportunities that set them up for success now and in the years to come.”

The Honourable Stephen Lecce

Ontario Minister of Education

“This Memorandum of Understanding is an example of our government’s commitment to foster collaborative partnerships between First Nations, Ontario and Canada. These investments will support Grand Council Treaty #3 students in Northwestern Ontario develop their academic skills and talents, using culturally appropriate teachings and resources that honour First Nations’ traditions and values.”

The Honourable Greg Rickford

Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs

Treaty #3 territory spans approximately 143,000 square kilometres from west of Thunder Bay to north of Sioux Lookout, along the international border, to the province of Manitoba, and is made up of 28 communities, with a total population of approximately 25,000.

17 First Nations from Treaty #3 are signatories to the MOU, representing approximately 1,300 students in Northwestern Ontario.

Budget 2021 proposes to invest $726 million over five years to support work with First Nations partners to adapt elementary and secondary education funding to meet local First Nations needs.

Through this agreement, the parties have committed to address efforts to improve education outcomes by focusing on early learning, culturally appropriate education resources, professional development, relationship building and transitioning between First Nations and provincially operated schools.

Adrienne Vaupshas

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Indigenous Services

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