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United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


Under the principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the respective Councils of the Nations, Tribes and Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations are exercising their inherent right to controlling their own destiny as distinct Peoples within their respective laws and constitutions. Part of any distinct society is the ability to practice control and direction over the education of the young.


For the protection and promotion of Treaty Right to Education, the Confederacy declares the following Articles 13, 14, 19, 23, 31 and 37:


  • Article 13(1):  Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.

  • Article 13(2):  States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that Indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means.

  • Article 14(1):  Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning. 

  • Article 14(2):  Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.

  • Article 14(3):  States shall, in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, take effective measures, in order for Indigenous individuals, particularly children, including those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.

  • Article 19: States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them

  • Article 23: Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In particular, indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining, health, housing and other economic and social programmes through their own institutions.

  • Article 31(1):  Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

  • Article 31(2):  In conjunction with indigenous peoples, States shall take effective measures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights.

  • Article 37(1): Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.

  • Article 37(2):  Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.



Our Duty - Expressed by Elders and Chiefs of Treaty Six


The Confederacy is committed to supporting its member First Nations by providing Treaty No. 6 Elders, Chiefs, technicians, students, youth, and citizens with information for the purpose of achieving substantial educational outcomes for Treaty No. 6 Schools and Students.  This includes researching and analyzing policy to understand the real challenges that our First Nations face.  


The Confederacy of Treaty Six affirms that life-long learning Education is a Treaty Right.  First Nations are autonomous and have an inherent right to control all aspects of education, from early childhood through post-secondary.  Responsibility of First Nation Students on-reserve falls entirely with the Crown. Treaty obligations should not be part of the grants and contributions program.  These are constitutional obligations which are recognized by the Crown, through the British North American Act - known as the Constitution Act of 1867 - Section 91(24), along with Canada’s Constitution and the Charter of Rights in 1982, which affirms Aboriginal and Treaty Rights - Section 35. 


Treaty Pillars of Education - Guiding Principles

  1. The Confederacy of Treaty Six asserts that Education is a Treaty and Inherent Right.

  2. Education Services provided to Treaty Six First Nation signatories, reaffirms the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights with the Crown through the fulfillment of federal fiduciary responsibilities.

  3. The Crown is the primary provider of all Education services including post-secondary education; and such services must be provided when and as needed by First Nation members without regard to their financial status.

  4. Education benefits shall remain universal to all First Nations.

  5.  Education services shall be accessible to all First Nations and shall be fully portable regardless of residence and country.

  6. Education services shall not be changed without the agreement of First Nations.

  7. Education intellectual property shall belong to First Nations inherently. 


The Confederacy supports its First Nation members by:


  1. Monitoring legislations and policies that affect Treaty Rights

  2. Assisting Treaty Six First Nations in developing Treaty based positions and policies

  3. Acting as a Treaty Portal, educating people about Treaty Right to Education

  4. Researching and liaising with other organizations concerned with Treaty issues relating to education

  5. Establishing working relationships with the member Treaty Six First Nations

  6. Increasing awareness on importance of governance in education

  7. Advancing partnerships with other First Nations governments, organizations, federal and provincial governments

  8. Providing information to First Nation partners and interested individuals and/or groups on matters pertaining to First Nation Education and Treaty Right to Education

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