The Government of Canada's overarching goal is to provide First Nation students with quality education that provides them with the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to enter the labour market and be full participants in a strong Canadian economy.
In 2011-2012, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC) invested approximately $1.55 billion in First Nation K-12 education and more than $322 million in post-secondary education to support First Nation and Inuit students across Canada. This funding was in addition to the approximately $200 million to support infrastructure costs for education facilities. This funding supported approximately 116,400 students in kindergarten to grade 12 and about 22,000 post secondary students.
Update on Progress to Date on First Nation education
On October 22, 2013, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) released for public review the document Working Together for First Nation Students: A Proposal for a Bill on First Nation Education, which is the result of input and feedback received from First Nation Chiefs and Councils, First Nation organizations, provincial governments and others with an expertise or interest in First Nation education on the Blueprint for Legislation consultation document.
The draft legislative proposal has been shared with more than 600 Chiefs and Band Councils and every First Nation community across the country, as well as provincial governments, for further input prior to legislation being introduced in Parliament. Once introduced, the Parliamentary process will offer additional opportunities for input.
Parents, educators, students and others in communities interested in education are encouraged to submit comments on the proposal to further influence the final legislation which will be introduced in the House of Commons.
Background: Consultations for the development of a First Nations Education Act
Following the Crown-First Nations Gathering and as part of Economic Action Plan 2012, and Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government committed to develop new legislation for First Nation elementary and secondary education that would establish the structures and standards to support strong and accountable education systems on reserve. Economic Action Plan 2012 also invested $100 million over three years to help ensure readiness for the new First Nations education system to be outlined in legislation. The budget also committed $175 million to build and renovate schools on reserve, providing First Nations youth with better learning environments.
For further information on completed school infrastructure projects (over $1.5 million from 2010-2014) funded by Canada's Economic Action Plan and the Gas Tax Fund, please view this detailed chart. Also, please take the opportunity to view school projects across the regions in this photo gallery.
In December 2012, the Government launched consultations on a proposed legislative approach to First Nation education. These initial consultations with First Nations and other stakeholders included in-person regional sessions held across the country, video and teleconference sessions, in addition to online consultation activities. After careful examination of input received on a “Blueprint for Legislation,” a draft legislative proposal for First Nations education has been shared with First Nations, provinces and others, for feedback. The Blueprint set out the approach to a First Nations Education Act, and was informed by the work of the National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education, as well as consultations undertaken between December 2012 and May 2013 and was shared with First Nation Chiefs and Councils, First Nation organizations, provincial governments and others with an expertise or interest in First Nation education for feedback.
Did you know?
- AANDC provides direct financial support for elementary and secondary education for First Nations living on reserve, and post-secondary education support for First Nation and Inuit students.
- AANDC delivers a number of important education programs, including: the First Nation Student Success Program and the Education Partnerships Program.
- The Government of Canada has signed tripartite education agreements in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Quebec (First Nation Education Council) and Saskatchewan (Saskatoon Tribal Council).
- Elementary and secondary school support for First Nation students living off reserve, as well as Métis, Inuit and non-status Indians, is provided through provincial and territorial school systems.
- All Aboriginal students, regardless of whether they are First Nation, Métis or Inuit, can also seek funding for post-secondary education through CanLearn and the Canada Student Loans and Grants program.
- The Government of Canada sponsors an Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool that lists over 600 scholarships, bursaries, and other incentives offered by governments, universities, and industry to support Aboriginal post-secondary participation.
- The Government of Canada is developing an Education Information System (EIS) – a single data system to track performance and measure success - to support continuous improvement.
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