Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Canada sign Education Agreement-in-Principle

News release

December 5, 2018 Ottawa, ON - Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada - Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Working collaboratively to renew the relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership is key to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Government of Canada reached a major milestone in their journey toward reconciliation and renewed nation-to-nation relationships today by signing an education Agreement-in-Principle.

The Agreement-in-Principle paves the way for continued negotiations for First Nations' control and law-making authority over education from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 in their communities. Promoting Indigenous culture and language will be central to the new, Nishnawbe Aski Nation First Nations education system, to be created under the final agreement.

The goal is to build a solid foundation for the First Nations of Nishnawbe Aski Nation to move out from under the education sections of the Indian Act, exercise their vision of greater self-determination and build a brighter future for their students and communities.


"Asserting our jurisdiction over education is necessary so we can teach our children in a way that is consistent with our cultures, while also ensuring that they are prepared academically for whatever opportunities their futures hold. Our education system will be developed and implemented by our communities, and will provide our children with culturally appropriate and high quality learning opportunities that are on par with the rest of Canada. This agreement-in-principle commits NAN and Canada to restore education jurisdiction to NAN First Nations and strengthen relationships among our Nations."

Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler
Nishnawbe Aski Nation

"This is a major step on the road to greater self-determination for Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities and a brighter future for their students. Through these talks, we are setting the stage for the participating First Nations to work together to control their own education system – a system that will help ensure their students have the tools they need to succeed and thrive, with a strong and proud connection to their culture and language."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Associated links


Matthew Dillon-Leitch
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Crown – Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications
Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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