The Nipissing First Nation can begin offering its own Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes on the reserve as soon as next year. The development is the result of MPs passing the Anishinabek Education System, a government Bill that gives First Nations the go ahead to operate their own school room classes. So far 23 First Nations in Ontario will offer their own school programming including Nipissing First Nation and the number is expected to grow.
Nipissing-Temiskaming MP Anthony Rota supported Bill C-61. Rota says the agreement gives communities like Nipissing First Nation control to create a learning environment that respects and reflects their culture, history, traditions and language. Rota also says the Nipissing First Nation will host the administrative body that will oversee the AES agreement. First Nation communities designed the education programs they’ll deliver.
The agreement is the first of its kind in Ontario and means education no longer falls under the Indian Act. Many of the 23 First Nations under the agreement are in Northern Ontario including the Dokis First Nation and Magnetawan First Nation. The agreement now goes to the Senate for approval which is expected to be a formality. The target date to implement the AES is April 1st, 2018.