Protect First Nations students from backlash: Madahbee
UOI OFFICES - NIPISSING FN, Jan. 10, 2013 - Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee is asking school boards across Anishinabek Nation territory to ensure that students are not subject to any backlash related to the current national debate on First Nations issues.
"Unfortunately, discussions about First Nations rights seem to bring out the worst in some Canadians, and there have been numerous reports of racist commentary and incidents across the country," said Madahbee, speaking on behalf of 39 member Anishinabek communities in Ontario. "We are seeking the assistance of teachers and school administrators to ensure that First Nations students entrusted to their care are not subject to any bullying or harassment."
The Grand Council Chief noted that many provincial schools have demonstrated leadership in providing curricula and environments that are more inclusive to First Nations students, and suggested that class discussions on current events could help make prescribed courses of study in Canadian and Native Studies even more relevant.
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.