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Tweed students’ question to be asked during the Senate Question Period

Two Grade 8 students found out that asking a question can have a powerful outcome. Megan and Payton, who are in Ian McKendry’s class at Tweed Elementary School sent a letter to the Parliament of Canada asking a question related to the Indian Act and the Constitution Act of 1982.

The letter was responded to by Kornelia Mankowski, Legislative Assistant, Office of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, The Honourable Joan Fraser.

Mankowski informed Megan and Peyton that their question will be asked during Question Period on Thursday, November 7, 2014.

‘. . . We are pleased to inform you that we would like to ask your question on the Indian Act during Question Period in the Senate. Thank you for submitting a question on the topic you are currently studying. We are always pleased to hear from students such as yourselves. We expect that Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, will be asking your question tomorrow, Thursday, November 6, 2014. Senator Lovelace Nicholas is from New Brunswick and has been very much involved in Aboriginal women’s issues . . . ‘ – Kornelia Mankowski.

Below is the students’ letter.

Letter Written by Megan & Payton, Tweed Elementary School
Dear Senate:Our class has been reading and researching about the history of residential schools in Canada. This morning we read an article from the CBC about a First Nations (Indian) status court challenge. Here is a question we have created based on what we read in the article and from our learning:Is Canada really the last remaining country in the world to continue to use race and gender to determine the identities of indigenous peoples (e.g., First Nations)? Isn’t that violating Canada’s Constitution Act, which states men and women have the right to enjoy their cultures without arbitrary interference by the government?

Simply put: Why has the Canadian government not repealed the Indian Act?

From Payton and Megan, Grade 8, Tweed Elementary School.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354, kdonnell@hpedsb.on.ca

Last updated: November 6, 2014 at 11:21 am