By Monica Lister
DOKIS FIRST NATION – Restoration of Jurisdiction (ROJ) staff are bringing information to Anishinabek community members to explain the new and innovative First Nation education initiative – the Anishinabek Education System and the Anishinabek Education Agreement.
In the first of many information sessions to come, staff from the ROJ Department of the Union of Ontario Indians visited with Chief Denise Restoule and Councillors, Gerry Duquette Jr., Chris Dokis as well as Band Manager Charlene Restoule and Education Administrator Sharon Goulais of Dokis First Nation.
The negotiations with Canada for a self-government agreement regarding education are winding up and in preparation for a ratification vote that will be held in the fall of 2016.
Additionally, the group had the opportunity to hear information on the funding offer from Canada that that would provide for the delivery of education programs and services in First Nations communities under the new agreement. Canada’s fiscal offer, delivered to ROJ in September 2013, will provide amounts for education programs and services at current levels, plus an amount for the administration of the Anishinabek Education System and a one-time amount to cover costs of implementing the new system.
There were discussions about the draft allocation principles that were developed by members of the Education Working Group. The Education Working Group is a group of volunteers from each of the communities who assist in the preparations for education self-government. Once the Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement is ratified, the First Nations who ratify the agreement will review and approve the draft allocation principles.
Chief Denise Restoule indicated her Council would like to host an information session with community members to learn about and discuss the Anishinabek Education System, the funding for the system and how this system will benefit their community. Dokis First Nation has its own elementary school — Kikendawt Kinoomaadii Gamig.