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In wake of Atleo’s departure, native leaders review options amid education controversy

Shawn Atleo stepped down as national chief of the Assemby of First Nations in Ottawa on Friday, May 2, 2014.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Regional chiefs from across Canada are meeting this week in Ottawa to determine how they'll choose a new leader after the sudden resignation of Shawn Atleo.

The executive committee of the Assembly of First Nations is reviewing their charter and may decide to appoint a temporary national chief now or wait to hold a leadership vote later.

Atleo abruptly quit on Friday afternoon, saying he wanted to avoid being a distraction in the ongoing – and intensifying – debate over the Conservative government's proposed changes to First Nations education.

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Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt's office says a Conservative government bill aimed at reforming aboriginal education is on hold until the AFN determines its next steps.

Some First Nations groups have been critical of Atleo for supporting the bill.

They say if passed, the legislation would strip away their rights and give the federal government too much control over the education of their children.

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