Wednesday, August 6, 2008

the kids are alright

This media release was forwarded to us from the office of Charlie Angus, the Member of Parliament for Timmins - James Bay.


Thirteen-year-old Shannen Koostachin has been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize for her fight to get a school built in her impoverished Cree community of Attawapiskat. Earlier this spring, Koostachin gained national attention when she challenged Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl over his refusal to honour a federal commitment to build a school in Attawapiskat.

NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) says Koostachin has inspired young people across Canada to fight the second-class treatment of on reserve children.

"Children shouldn’t have to mount an international campaign just to get a school built," said Angus. "Shannen has emerged as a voice for the so-called ‘forgotten children’ of Attawapiskat. She has reached out to students across Canada to help in the fight."

Cindy Blackstock of the First Nation’s Child and Family Caring Society nominated Koostachin for the award that is overseen by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

"The Children’s Peace Prize is given to children who have made a significant contribution to advancing children’s rights," said Angus. "The government of Canada seems to have forgotten that the right to a proper education is a fundamental human right. But Shannen isn’t content to be treated as a second-class citizen. She has emerged as an inspiring young leader who is waging a fight that has international significance."

Last month, Shannen and three other Attawapiskat students put the government of Canada on notice that they intend to challenge Canada at the upcoming review of Canada’s obligations under the UN Rights of the Child Convention.

"Minister Strahl told me he had other priorities than building a school. Maybe he thinks we will just lose hope and give up. But I was always taught by my parents to stand up and speak for what I believe in. I told him the children won’t give up. We will keep moving forward, walking proud in our moccasins until we are given justice."

The nomination package for Shannen Koostachin includes numerous supporting letters from education associations, First Nation organizations and individual teachers in both the separate and public boards of Ontario.


Ida said...

HI I lam Ida Hilson and I lam a
learner leader I have been upset
and disspointed over the Ministry
for not giveing Alpha plus funding
for onine courses on Alpha Route
I have written to my Mr David Ramsey about this issue about on
line courses on Alpha Route and I have written to Mr John Milloy
about it too so I lam making make
hear my voice clear for all the Learners of Ontario.

Ida said...

Hi I think that we are getting treated like Little children in
the Literacy programs when we are all Adults and we are trying to upgrade well feel that has to stop in Literacy program getting treat like little child and I what my voice to be heard Iam Adult learner and I don;t want any learners to be treat like like
child when we are Adult learners

literacies publisher said...

Ida - thanks so much for your comments. I am posting your comments on the Literacies Cafe blog so that more literacy workers can see what you have to say about the way you feel about how you have been treated. You have worked so hard for learners in Ontario and I know everybody appreciates what you do. You are very inspiring to all of us.

Anonymous said...

It shows that children are our future.