New National Grand Chief visits Quebec City

Chief Atleo and Chief Ghislain Picard QcCity Nov 18, 2009 006colorWEB.jpg
Photo: Marie White

On his first official tour of the province, Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Shawn Atleo visited Wendake and met the Huron-Wendat counsel. He also held a press conference November 18 at the Hilton to express his concerns and preoccupations for the country's first nations.

Elected to his office last July following Phil Fontaine's mandate, Chief A-in-chut Atleo is a Hereditary Chief from the Ahousaht First Nation in British Columbia. With a Masters of Education in Adult Learning and Global Change from the University of Technology from Sydney, Australia, the new leader has a keen interest in the vital role of education. In 2008, the chief's commitment to education was recognized in his appointment as Chancellor of Vancouver Island University, becoming BC's first aboriginal Chancellor. Indeed, he is particularly concerned about the present situation of education across the country's communities.

"Education is in crisis," he states clearly, adding "Language is too."
It is essential, he says, to encourage an "investment in young people in education," said Chief Atleo who pointed out that there is presently no funding for school libraries, unlike in the rest of the country, Chief Atleo feels that support from the general population could help to improve conditions.