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Minister O’Regan signs a new Regional Education Agreement with the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority
July, 18, 2019 — Woodland Cree First Nation, Cadotte Lake, Alberta — Indigenous Services Canada
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, along with Loon River First Nation Chief Ivan Sawan, Lubicon Lake Band Chief Billy Joe Laboucan, Peerless Trout First Nation Chief Gladys Okemow, Whitefish Lake First Nation Chief Albert Thunder and Woodland Cree First Nation Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom, representing the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority, signed a new regional education agreement today benefiting approximately 1,200 First Nations students. It is the first agreement of its kind in Alberta.
The official signing ceremony took place on the grounds of the Woodland Cree First Nation in Treaty 8.
This new agreement responds to the education goals and priorities set by the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority representing five Cree First Nations in Northern-Central Alberta. The agreement recognizes the right of First Nations people to make educational decisions that affect their students; to control their own education institutions; and, to respond to the unique needs, experiences, beliefs and values of First Nations students.
Every First Nation child deserves the best start in life, and the Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with First Nations to support students in achieving academic success.
To further these goals, the agreement will:
- Recognize and respect the diversity of the five First Nations communities;
- Work to empower each participating First Nation to improve their educational outcomes, and;
- Preserve and utilize Indigenous knowledge, philosophy, Nehiyiwewin (Cree) language and local values and beliefs.
“The Regional Education Agreement signed here today represents only the latest important step in an ongoing journey we are taking together, ensuring First Nations receive a quality; culturally-appropriate education that improves outcomes, while respecting First Nations control of First Nations education. I want to congratulate the community for its tremendous efforts in making this new education authority a reality. Your vision will help promote and preserve Nehiyiwewin (Cree) language and way of life, which will benefit students as well as the entire community.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
“The Regional Education Agreement between KTCEA and the Government of Canada is a historic agreement for our Nations. We celebrate this agreement today because it is a commitment to honour our current and future generations. It will help to ensure our students are provided with equal access to educational opportunities. We need to continue to work together to close all gaps — in programs, in services and in achievement.”
Chief Ivan Sawan
Loon River First Nation
Chairperson, KTCEA Board of Directors
- The Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority (KTCEA) is comprised of the following Treaty No. 8 First Nations located in North-Central Alberta: Loon River First Nation, Lubicon Lake Band, Peerless Trout First Nation, Whitefish Lake First Nation, and Woodland Cree First Nation.
- The Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Educational Authority, representing five First Nations, began administration of three band operated schools in 2017 and undertook the operation of three transferred provincial schools in 2018. The Education Authority’s principles of achieving successful educational outcomes include the emphasis on the promotion and preservation of Nehiyiwewin (Cree language) and land-based education.
- The Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority was established in 2017 to serve as the First Nations-run school authority for the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council, only the second of its kind in Alberta.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services
Indigenous Services Canada
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