Government of Canada and British Columbia First Nations Celebrate Resounding Support for New Education Agreement in BC
WSÁNEĆ NATION/BRENTWOOD BAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA (March 30, 2012) –The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development; Tyrone McNeil, President of the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC); and Greg Louie, the President of the First Nations Schools Association, today celebrated the near unanimous support demonstrated by BC First Nations for the recently signed Tripartite Education Framework Agreement.
Ninety-nine per cent of BC First Nations that operate schools have passed resolutions opting in to the framework agreement, which aims to provide BC First Nation students with access to quality education programs whether they attend school on or off reserve.
"This Government is moving forward on its commitment to reforming First Nation education and ensuring First Nation students are provided with quality education that enables them to realize their full potential," said Minister Duncan. "The overwhelming support for this framework agreement is a concrete example of the commitment of all partners to put First Nation children first and ensure they have access to the quality education they need to build a successful future for themselves and their communities."
Since signing the Tripartite Education Framework Agreement in January 2012, FNESC and the Government of Canada have completed a series of meetings with First Nations across the province on the proposed Agreement and the new funding model associated with it. By opting-in to the Agreement, First Nations affirm their commitment to a BC First Nation education system, including the education services provided by FNESC and the First Nations Schools Association.
"We are very pleased with the level of support we have received," said Mr. McNeil. "First Nation student success is vital for nation-building within our own communities and for the country as a whole."
First Nations Schools Association President Greg Louie added, "Near unanimous support for the new approach reflects the nearly two decades of work and collective effort we have put into building systems that support First Nation learners."
Today’s celebration was hosted by the WSÁNEĆNation at the ÁU,WELNEW Tribal School. Chief Wayne Morris said, "I am proud of what our community has done to help our students succeed. By opting-in to the new approach we hope to continue that good work with better supports and enhanced resources."
The Tripartite Education Framework Agreement is supported by a new funding formula that will result in First Nation schools being funded in the same way as similarly sized and situated public schools in the provincial system. The new investment was predicated on the commitment and capacity to have in place programming and school board-type structures that ensure the ability of students to transfer between First Nation and provincial systems without academic penalty.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable John Duncan
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) & First Nations Schools Association
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