Mr. Speaker, today, in Geneva, Switzerland, 16-year-old Chelsea Edwards from Attawapiskat is leading the delegation of first nations children who will tell the international community how they have been systemically discriminated against by the government.
Education is a universal human right and Canada is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The government has a legal obligation to protect the equitable education rights of all but it has failed in this job. Nowhere is this failure more noticeable than in the mistreatment of the children of Attawapiskat: 12 years without a school; 12 years of broken promises.
No wonder the late Shannen Koostachin stood up to the government and said that the children had suffered enough. She knew that children have only one childhood. It is a precious resource that cannot be squandered under the substandard buildings, third-rate education and broken promises of the Conservative government.
Shannen had a dream that all children have the right to an education in a safe and comfy school. Meegwetch to our youth leaders who are making Shannen's dream a reality at the United Nations today.