This is page numbers 1400 - 1440 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 7th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was chairman.

Topics

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Based on the information here, the student would be considered absent if they weren't excused. But I'll ask Ms. Whitehouse to help me out in clarifying this particular matter.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

The Chair John Ningark

Thank you. Ms. Whitehouse.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

Whitehouse

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Under this paragraph, the principal may excuse the student from attending for such period as the principal may direct, and there are examples of the kinds of things the principal may excuse a student from attending school for. If the principal does not excuse the student, then the student is considered to be absent. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

The Chair John Ningark

Thank you. To clause 27. Mr. Koe.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

Fred Koe Inuvik

Thank you. I agree with the intent of the act that it should be definitive in the actions that one should take, but if the act is to be more permissive and open in dealing with students, I believe the presentation made by the Status of Women made a good point. We always seem to discipline someone after the damage has been done, after they have been away for a long time, for example, and we don't do any preventative work upfront. The Status of Women, in their presentation to the Standing Committee on Legislation, said there should be an obligation for the school to contact the parent or student when there is prolonged absence or poor attendance.

Another area of concern was the lack of counselling support for students. They said, "contact and follow-up is often not made until the student is experiencing major difficulties with attendance and/or behaviour. There is nothing in the bill to define the role of a counsellor or to require provision of counselling by education bodies." Again, in this act there is a specific section that refers to the principal and I assume by referring to the principal, we refer to him or his subordinates. It's just a point that I thought was worthwhile raising; the Status of Women raised it. The Status of Women raised it and it's worthy of comment. I'm not sure ... Maybe it's already in here or maybe there's something we can add to strengthen this section. Thank you.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

The Chair John Ningark

Thank you. Mr. Minister, did you want to make a comment on Mr. Koe's comments? Mr. Minister.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just to advise that the district education authority or the divisional education council can set out the appropriate guidelines and the basis by which these elements can be applied as well. It's not simply a matter of the principal just doing it on their own. You've got to read again how these elements fit. The district educational authority can, in fact, develop the appropriate guidelines, the appropriate internal policies that will respond to this whole matter of the excuses in the agreements.

The other component that's part of this, which historically has probably never been part of it, is the agreement of parents being part of the process, as well.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

The Chair John Ningark

Thank you. Clause 27. Mr. Koe.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

Fred Koe Inuvik

I raise that because in clause 28, again, there's a very definite clause there in terms of anybody who doesn't comply with 27.(2) is guilty of an offence. I think I'll make some comments when we get to that one, but there are definite responsibilities and I think the comments made about preventative work warrant some consideration. I know we're limited again by budgets and the amount of staff that we can have doing this type of work but I think it has to be considered when dealing with the act. Thank you.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

The Chair John Ningark

Thank you. Mr. Antoine.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1429

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Under section 27, with regard to attendance, (3)(b), (c), and also (4), is with regard to being excused by the principal for students to participate in traditional activities on the land and other learning experiences

and also to participate in a spiritual or religious observance recognized by an authority or teachings to which the student adheres; but, mainly to be excused as the principal may direct in order to allow the students to participate in traditional activities on the land.

I take offence to the word "excused," Mr. Chairman, because it's like we're leaving the traditional lifestyles to be subservient to the educational program. As a Dene person, I take offence with that "he may be excuse& type of thing. Maybe traditional pursuits on the land have to be recognized in this act here as something that is very substantial. The education program today doesn't teach our young people how to go out on the land. To be excused to do that makes it sound as if it's something that we need permission for.

I would like to tell the Minister, through you, Mr. Chairman, that if they could find another word for it, I would really appreciate it. When a young person goes out on the land, for example, in my area, a lot of the communities go out on the land in the fall, for the fall moose hunt. They all take off and don't go to school for maybe a week or 10 days. They do learn a lot out on the land; they learn how to put food on the table; they learn how to take care of themselves on the land and this is a very valuable experience for a lot of the young people.

In the wintertime, as well, when they go out on the land, it's a good experience, too, and they learn quite a bit about how to survive out there. I know the intent of this section but I just don't like the words "being excused" to do the things that some elders tell us we need to do more of. So if, through you, Mr. Chairman, the Minister could respond to that, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1430

The Chair John Ningark

Thank you. Mr. Minister.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1430

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the comments that the honourable Member has made. I just want to say this though, these are actually the exemptions. You have to look at it in the context of exemptions from mandatory attendance. Excused is used in the context of with permission being part of a program other than an educational program. The on-the-land traditional programs could, for that matter, include participation in a community hunt. However, that's an educational component. These are in addition to the educational programming itself. One can't look at it simply in the context of on-the-land programs that are not organized as part of the school programming because that can be done.

These are the exceptions to mandatory attendance. This is what we're trying to get at. By using excused, we're talking about with permission already having been granted. That's the way in which it would read. Let me give you one example: a good conference that some people have attended, Dream Catchers, that's a program that has been outside traditional in terms of educational programming. That is one of those components that we're talking about, a lot of aboriginal people being part of a major conference or, for that matter, a major event that might happen, a spiritual gathering that might occur in the region or in a community, that might be another component.

That's the kind of stuff we're talking about. It wasn't intended to say that there are restrictions but those are components by which those additional approvals can be given. I don't want to make it difficult but that was the interpretation. Those are the exceptions, like I said, to the program. In the programming, we then include the on-the-land cultural component as well.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1430

The Chair John Ningark

Thank you. Clause 27. Mr. Pudlat.

Committee Motion 76-12(7): To Amend Clause 15 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

June 19th, 1995

Page 1430

Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) Just a brief question on clause 27.(2). In the school year now, a student will obviously have to come to school on time, but students have different attendance patterns and that's something that will probably be a reality for the rest of time. If a student continues to be tardy, who will enforce the punishment? How many times do you plan on contacting the parents regarding their child's tardiness? How much time would be provided to ensure that this tardiness problem is alleviated and you contact the parents as well as the education bodies? That was my question, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.