Thursday, October 30th8.2°C
23888
23040

Shawn Atleo resigns

Shawn Atleo has abruptly resigned as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Atleo told a hastily assembled news conference Friday in Ottawa that he does not want to be a distraction in the ongoing — and intensifying — debate over the federal government's proposed changes to First Nations education.

"This work is too important, and I'm not prepared to be an obstacle to it or a lightning rod distracting from the kids and their potential," Atleo said.

"I am therefore today resigning as national chief."

Some First Nations groups have been critical of Atleo for supporting a Conservative government bill aimed at reforming aboriginal education.

They say if passed, the legislation would strip away their rights and give the federal government too much control over the education of their children.

But the work must continue, Atleo said.

"I challenge every party and every First Nation to carry this work forward. Failure is simply not an option," he said.

"Fighting for the status quo is simply not acceptable."

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt has defended Bill C-33, the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, saying it meets the five conditions outlined by the Assembly of First Nations and chiefs during a meeting in December.

It was not immediately clear Friday who would replace Atleo as national chief.

The Canadian Press

COMMENTS WELCOME

Comments on this story are pre-moderated and approval times may vary. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.



Read more Canada News




Recent Trending





23901




23166






Member of BC Press Council


23207