Engagement

First Nation Leadership in Ontario have consistently articulated an agenda concerned with rights, reconciliation and Treaty implementation.  Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, asserts that “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.” Consistent with the concept of free, prior and informed consent First Nations in Ontario require the province to engage extensively with First Nations people, communities and organizations when contemplating this type of activity.

In the FNLLT process the CPPC is considered the first point of engagement for any provincial ministry contemplating legislative or administrative measures that may affect lifelong learning for First Nation learners.  Upon review of the change under consideration by the province the CPPC is in the best position to recommend the next steps to be taken.

The following chart provides some examples of potential circumstances and prospective recommendations.

Circumstance

First Nation Situation

Recommendation

The province is considering making changes to the existing legislation.

There is little understanding no collective First Nation position on the legislative change being proposed.

Full engagement:

  1. A full analysis must be undertaken by the CPPC to understand the situation and develop potential options for First Nations to consider.
  2. Options must be presented to First Nations and First Nations must be provided an opportunity to provide input on the development of a position.  This may include various engagement processes of PTOs, IFN and Unaffiliated Firs Nations.
  3. The position is then presented to Leadership for ratification.
  4. If ratified – the position is presented to the province.  If not ratified – the process begins again.
  5. Once a position is ratified the province and First Nations jointly address the issue.

The province is addressing a policy issue that First Nations have been requesting for quite some time.

There is wide-spread understanding of the issue and several collective Resolutions calling for action.

The CPPC will work on addressing the policy issue.

This may or may not include an abbreviated version of First Nation engagement – possibly a working group, focus group or a poll.

Consent is obtained from First Nation Leadership via Resolution.

The province is addressing an issue internal to their structure that will affect funding provided to school boards to support the needs of First Nation learners.

There is full understanding of the issue and a clear position has been ratified by the Chiefs in Assembly.

The CPPC will work on the issue.  Engagement is only required if activity evolves outside of the scope of the position of First Nation Leadership.

 

In all circumstances it is understood that jurisdiction is held at the community level and collective decisions cannot force a community to adhere to a particular directive.  However, the CPPC will endeavor in all cases to ensure information is provided for communities to make informed decisions.

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