Nipissing First Nation will house the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body.
The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body (KEB) was incorporated in January 2011 as a not-for-profit corporation owned and controlled by Anishinabek First Nations. In June 2012, the Grand Council of the Anishinabek Nation directed the KEB board of directors to oversee the establishment of the Anishinabek Education System.
“This is a significant milestone for our nation and for the future of education services across the Anishinabek territory,” said Chief Scott McLeod. “The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body will help First Nations build capacity, deliver services and realize our vision to implement self-determination of education.”
Space will be provided within an existing facility for three to five staff initially until construction of a dedicated building is completed in the fall of next year.
Anishinabek First Nations have been working towards the creation of the Anishinabek Education System (AES) for more than 20 years.
"It’s about First Nation control of First Nation education to ensure reliable funding from the federal government for educational programs and services for First Nations learners at all levels – from elementary to post-secondary, including special needs and adult education," says a news release.
The Anishinabek Nation envisioned a system of local, regional and central education structures governed and administered by First Nations. In 2013, Anishinabek education negotiator and legal counsel Tracey O’Donnell noted that these structures “will support a culture of learning for First Nations students by providing culturally appropriate curriculum, resources, and assessments, while maintaining sound financial controls and economies of scale."
Under the AES, First Nations will make education laws for schools on reserve, and have full control over how to best allocate education funding. The KEB will act like a school board – it will set up educational policies and guidelines, implement standards for diplomas and certificates, provide services to First Nations schools and handle relations with the provincial schools that Anishinaabe students attend.
"The KEB is not intended to direct First Nations, but rather will take direction from First Nations and provide advice and support. The First Nations that join the education system will work together through the KEB to identify and manage their educational priorities and the systems’ governance," adds the release.
The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI) as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 member First Nations across Ontario. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.