(L-R): Debbie Mayer, Chairperson of the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body Board, Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod, and Nipissing First Nation Deputy Chief Muriel Sawyer, with Concept drawing of the Nipissing First Nation small business centre designed to house the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body. Photo by: Laura Barrios.

ANISHINABEK NATION (Nipissing First Nation, Head Office)—After initiating a bid process which was open to all Participating First Nations, the Kinoomaadziwin Education Board is pleased to announce that the successful bid for housing the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body is Nipissing First Nation.

“The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body Board is committed to working diligently to ensure that the Anishinabek Education System is prepared to be operational as of April 1, 2018, on behalf of the First Nations we represent,” stated Debbie Mayer, Chairperson of the Kinoomaadziwin Education Board.

The building will house approximately 12 staff. There will be future opportunities for Participating First Nations to house the Regional Education offices with a minimum of 2 staff.

“The KEB is excited to be part of this initial process to ensure the successful start up of the Anishinabek Education System,” added Chairperson Mayer.

Up to five KEB staff will be temporarily occupying space within one of the community’s existing facilities until the construction of a dedicated building is completed. Completion of the building is anticipated for fall 2018.

“This is a significant milestone for our nation and for the future of education services across the Anishinabek territory,” stated Chief Scott McLeod in a previous news release. “The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body will help First Nations build capacity, deliver services, and realize our vision to implement self-determination of education.”

The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body was formed to be the central administrative structure of the Anishinabek Education System that will take direction from the Participating First Nations and provide support in achieving their education priorities and oversee the establishment of the Anishinabek Education System.

Each First Nation that is part of the Anishinabek Education System belongs to one Regional Education Council (REC), based on geographic proximity. The REC provides opportunities for networking, for determining First Nation and regional education priorities, and to select the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body Board of Directors from that region.

The Anishinabek Nation and its member communities have been working towards establishing the Anishinabek Education System (AES) for over 20 years. The Anishinabek Education System is based on the Anishinabek First Nations’ inherent jurisdiction over education.

The Agreement with Canada will provide reliable funding to operate the stand-alone education system parallel to its federal and provincial counterparts and to have full control over how to best allocate education funding. The funding will allow for the delivery of educational programs and services for students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. In addition, funding support for post-secondary is included.

29 Anishinabek First Nations conducted a ratification vote. In the first vote, 14 First Nations successfully said “Yes to the AES”, while 13 others did not meet the threshold. 11 communities ran a second vote to affirm their members’ initial “yes” vote. Three communities have successfully voted “Yes to the AES” with more communities anticipated to join as other votes conclude by the end of the month.

For additional information on the Anishinabek Education System, please visit the Say ‘Yes’ to the AES website.