Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

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.

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