Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 18, 2011 18:17 ET

Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations Confirm the Members of the National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 18, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations, confirmed today the members of the National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education.

The selected panellists will lead an important engagement process on the development of options, including legislation, to improve the governance framework, improve student outcomes and clarify accountability for First Nation elementary and secondary education. The Panel members are David Hughes, Caroline Krause, and George Lafond. The creation of the National Panel was announced in December 2010.

"Elementary and secondary education is the foundation for a better future. We must work together to address the challenges facing First Nation students to ensure they have access to quality education so they can succeed," said Minister Duncan. "This engagement process is key to the reform of First Nation education. These members are high calibre individuals who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their roles. The Panel's recommendations will help to guide us on the way forward."

National Chief Atleo stated: "Our shared goal in this work is to dialogue with First Nations and other key players to advance a plan to implement sustainable solutions that put the success of First Nation children front and centre. We all agree that this is not another study. We have had enough studies. Now is our time to set our path forward and to act in the best interests of our students. We need to address the issues as soon as possible including early engagement of the AFN Chiefs Committee on Education with the National Panel."

In the coming months, the National Panel will engage with First Nation leaders, parents, students, elders, teachers, provinces and all those with an interest in providing their view on how to enhance education and improve outcomes of First Nation students. The National Panel will also provide a report with recommendations to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and to the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

The National Panel, with the support of the Government of Canada and of the Assembly of First Nations, will be finalizing the details of the engagement process. More information on the engagement process will be announced in the coming weeks.

Backgrounder – mandate of the National Panel

National Panel Members' Biographies

This release and related background material are also available on the Internet at:

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Assembly of First Nations
    Jenna Young
    Communications Officer
    613-241-6789, ext 401
    Assembly of First Nations
    Alain Garon
    Bilingual Communications Officer
    613-241-6789, ext 382