BC teachers and First Nations on the frontlines

My guests today help take a fresh look at two issues where British Columbia is on the front lines of bigger social conflicts: that over the future of public education and that over resource development on First Nations lands.

My first guest is Helesia Luke, life-long public education advocate and member of the board of the BC Society for Public Education. In the midst of BC’s continuing teachers’ strike, she recently wrote a very incisive article on how the government’s $40 per day cash payment to parents are reminiscent of vouchers and fit with broader efforts at education reform. Our conversation touches on the themes from that article.

My second guest is Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government. His government recently declined to sign an economic cooperation and revenue-sharing agreement with the BC government that would cover proceeds from the Gibraltar Mine. I spoke with him about the reasons for this decision and his vision for the Tsilhqot’in economy.

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