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AFN's Shawn Atleo urges greater funding for First Nations education


Compiled by Debora Steel







Shawn Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations
has written to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty urging greater funding for First Nations education in the next federal budget. The chief said similar requests are made each year as the minister contemplates upcoming federal spending. “We’ve been under a two- per-cent cap since ’96. This is not the only policy area that we can point to where we’ve got the support of successive auditors general, major Canadian commentators saying we’re deeply underfunded. It’s a chasm of injustice that exists for First Nations children,” he told media. Atleo said the funding issue is critical. “There needs to be a shared sense of urgency that we don’t push this down the road, either,” Atleo said. “We leave no excuses for this to be punted, to be sidestepped, to not be done, because that’s what’s happened for 30 to 40 years now. We’ve got to seize this moment.”