Ottawa and First Nations negotiate truce on education talks

OTTAWA – The federal government has reached a deal with First Nations to get its education initiative back on track.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo issued separate statements on Thursday night outlining their new agreement.

Previous talks collapsed this fall because First Nations said they were not included as equal partners in designing legislation, and because federal documents suggested that funding was sufficient.

With the new outline, Duncan commits to “intensive” consultations and to explore ways to ensure stable and sufficient funding.

Since fewer than half of First Nations children graduate from high school, both sides were facing criticism for allowing politics to interfere with students’ future.

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