We won't go back to 'Square 1' on First Nations education bill: Valcourt

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OTTAWA - Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt is sounding frustrated with chiefs from across Canada who have flatly rejected the federal government's proposed changes to First Nations education.

Valcourt says the governing Conservatives showed good faith in their talks with the Assembly of First Nations leading up to a February announcement with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and former AFN national chief Shawn Atleo.

He says too much work has gone into the proposed First Nations education reforms to go back to Square 1.

Earlier this week, a special assembly of chiefs voted to reject the legislation and demanded the government negotiate a new education agreement that provides transfer payments to aboriginal communities.

The resolution also seeks $1.9 billion tied to the original bill immediately, with a 4.5 per cent escalator until a new deal on education is reached.

Valcourt says the bill remains on hold while he considers his options.

Organizations: Assembly of First Nations, Conservatives

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Canada

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