First Nations Executive Education wishes to highlight National Indigenous Peoples Day. This day, which has been celebrated every year on June 21 since 1996, has become part of National Indigenous History Month since 2021. This month aims to raise awareness of the valuable contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to Canadian society and to honour their cultures.

In this perspective, as a School for and by First Nations, we thought we would mark the 50th anniversary of a document that was produced in 1972 by the National Indian Brotherhood (now Assembly of First Nations) as the Statement of Principles: Indian Control of Indian Education [i]. This Declaration on Education is a basic document for taking over education for and by First Nations across Canada. This document was very appropriate in 1972 and still is to this day in 2022. There has been much progress since then, but there is still much to be done, especially in the context of the growing collective awareness that the trauma experienced in residential schools is very real. It is essential to have control over our education and align it with our philosophy of living in harmony with nature, thus ensuring our survival. A principle that is not found to the same extent in the non-native education system. A principle that is not found to the same extent in the non-native education system.

As an educational institution created for and by First Nations, we have the privilege of working with, as well as training remarkable women and men whom, through their commitment and achievements, play a major role in the advancement of society, in the protection of the environment, in the strengthening of their governance and much more. June 21 is a special time for non-natives to recognize this contribution and to take another step towards better living together. In September 2020, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, which by the way is a privileged partner of FNEE, published an action plan on the fight against racism and discrimination [ii].

This plan presents a multitude of initiatives for bringing our nations closer together and ideas on possible commitments, 14 of which are directly addressed to the business community. For businesses, adhering to one or another of the commitments of the AFNQL plan is a positive gesture that fits perfectly into a process of integration of social responsibility criteria. Happy National Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

[i] Indian Control of Indian Education (1972)

[ii] AFNQL action plan on racism and discrimination