Grants to Participating First Nations and the First Nations Education Authority Pursuant to the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act

Terms and Conditions

1.0 Introduction

On July 24, 2003, the federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which in conjunction with the 1995 Inherent Right policy, served as the basis to develop a framework for First Nations' assumption of education jurisdiction in British Columbia.

On July 5, 2006, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Premier of British Columbia and the First Nation Education Steering Committee signed the tripartite Education Jurisdiction Framework Agreement.  This agreement included a template Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreement, and the related Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Funding Agreement and Implementation Plan which allows First Nations to assume control over education, once ratified by individual First Nations and Canada.

Pursuant to the Education Jurisdiction Framework Agreement, the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act received Royal Assent on  December 12, 2006.  This federal legislation recognizes First Nations control over education and brings into effect subsequently negotiated Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreements.

The Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreement is a sectoral self-government agreement for First Nations who choose to assume jurisdiction over education in British Columbia.  The agreement sets out the scope of jurisdiction, including: law-making powers that cover on-reserve schools and students from kindergarten to grade 12 and education standards that must be met.  These agreements will allow Participating First Nations, through the First Nations Education Authority, to develop culturally appropriate, provincially recognized curricula and examinations for use in First Nation schools, certify teachers and certify First Nation schools, while ensuring the transferability of First Nations students between the First Nation and provincial school systems without penalty.

First Nations who negotiate and ratify Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreements will take full responsibility for education programs, services and outcomes on-reserve.  Consequently, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development would no longer be responsible for the administration of education and sections 114 to 122 of the Indian Act would no longer apply to First Nations under Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreements.

In order to financially support the provision of programs and services by self-governing First Nations to their members, negotiations are undertaken respecting the scope, type and timing of the transfer to First Nation jurisdiction, as well as the amount of funding to be provided annually over the life of the Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Funding Agreement.  The level of resources provided is comparable with funding levels provided to other First Nations in Canada who receive transfer payments from Canada for education programs and services. The amount of funding provided under this authority will include funds for the incremental costs of self-government and funds for the provisions of education programs and services redirected from Participating First Nations' education A-base.  It should be noted that entry into a sectoral self-government agreement does not result in enhanced programming and corresponding funding.  Nor does it prevent a self-governing First Nation from gaining access to any new or enhanced programs, services or funding being made available to other First Nations in Canada which it would, otherwise, be eligible to receive if it had not entered into the sectoral self-government agreement.

The First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act establishes the First Nations Education Authority (FNEA).  The purpose of FNEA is to support Participating First Nations in the assumption of education jurisdiction in accordance with the responsibilities set out in the Act.  In order to financially support FNEA and ensure that their responsibilities under the Act are carried out, a funding agreement will be negotiated which identifies the amount of funding to be provided annually.

All of the funds transferred as part of this initiative will flow through the class grant entitled: "Grants to Participating First Nations and the First Nations Education Authority pursuant to the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act".

These terms and conditions are specifically targeted to Aboriginal people.

2.0 Legal and Policy Authority

  • Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. I-6, s. 4
  • First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act, S.C. 2006, c. 10

3.0 Purpose, Program Objectives and Expected Results

The overall objective of this initiative and transfer payment program is to enable Participating First Nations to exercise education jurisdiction on reserve in British Columbia. Under this initiative Canada will support sustainable and effective First Nations education systems in British Columbia. It is expected that this initiative will lead to improved educational outcomes, increased participation in the labour market and improved quality of life in First Nations communities. Transferring jurisdiction over education to First Nations contributes to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development's Strategic Outcome of "The People: Strengthened individual and family well-being for First Nations, Inuit and Northerners". This initiative is aligned to the Elementary and Secondary Education sub-activity captured under this Strategic Outcome in Program Activity Architecture for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND).

This objective is directly linked to the Lifelong Learning theme identified in the Aboriginal Horizontal Framework. The Aboriginal Horizontal Framework identifies the Government of Canada's interest in targeting government programming and spending to maximize participation and success in early learning, education, training and skills development built on Aboriginal heritage.

Results & Outcomes

Sectoral self-government agreements over education for British Columbia First Nations will clarify jurisdiction, provide greater certainty over roles and responsibilities between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations in the area of education, establish new fiscal relationships and further the development of sustainable and effective First Nations education systems in British Columbia accountable to First Nation communities. Through these agreements, it is expected that First Nation control over First Nation education will improve the education attainment of First Nation students.

The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) fosters a relationship conducive to sustainable development based upon good governance, effective and efficient institutions and cooperative relationships. This, in turn, will enable Participating First Nations and supporting entities to operate sound and stable systems of governance that will support First Nation schools.

4.0 Eligibility

The eligible recipients for this grant are the Participating First Nations – First Nations named in the Schedule of the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act - and the First Nations Education Authority (FNEA). The FNEA will be established according to the provisions of the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act.

Ultimate beneficiaries carrying out implementation activities include:

  • Community Education Authorities, which may be established by Participating First Nations to operate, administer and manage its education system
  • Federal, provincial or independent schools systems, which may provide services or resources to First Nations.

Where the Participating First Nation delegates' authority or transfers program funding to a third party, the recipient shall remain liable to DIAND for the performance of its obligations under the funding arrangement. Neither the objectives of the programs, nor the expectations of transparent, fair and equitable services shall be compromised by any delegation or transfer of funding.

Eligible Initiatives and Projects

Transfer payments pursuant to these agreements support the provision of programs and services by the recipients as outlined in the terms and conditions contained in the Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreement and Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Funding Agreement.

5.0 Type and Nature of Eligible Expenditures

Payments under this authority are provided for the implementation of individual Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreements and for the delivery or programs and services that have been assumed by the First Nations.

Eligible costs may include, but are not limited to, those associated with the provision of teacher and school certification processes, the development and delivery of curriculum and examinations in Participating First Nation school systems, payment of tuition costs for eligible students attending federal, provincial or independent schools recognized by the province and assisting Participating First Nations to develop capacity to provide education.

6.0 Total Canadian Government Funding and Stacking Limites

Proposals for funding from each recipient shall address the requirement for the recipient to declare any and all prospective sources of funding for the program or project, inclusive of all federal, provincial or other government sources that are expected to be received. Annual financial reporting shall show all sources of funding received. Provision for repayment shall be included in the funding arrangements. Maximum funding by DIAND and total maximum government assistance is 100% of eligible costs of programs and projects.

7.0 Method for Determining the Amount of Funding

The method for determining the amount of funding is defined through negotiation according to the type and scope of education programs and services being transferred to each of the participating First Nations.

8.0 Maximum Amount Payable

The maximum amount payable to the recipient organizations will be negotiated according to the type and scope of education programs and services being transferred to each of the participating First Nations. This amount will not exceed the amount appropriated by Parliament for this purpose.

The maximum amount payable to each individual recipient is $8,000,000 per year.

9.0 Basis on Which Payments will be Made

Grants are normally paid in instalments to correspond to the cash flow requirements of the recipient. Instalments under this grant authority are made based on a cash flow forecast from the recipient and are a negotiable item in the Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Funding Agreement.

10.0 Application Requirements and Assessment Criteria

Participating First Nations must be a First Nation named in the Schedule of the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act in order to enter into an arrangement under the Grants to Participating First Nations and the First Nations Education Authority Pursuant to the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act Authority.

FNEA must be established in accordance with the provisions of the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act in order for FNEA to enter into a funding arrangement under the Grants to Participating First Nations and the First Nations Education Authority Pursuant to the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act Authority.

11.0 Due Diligence and Reporting

DIAND has procedures and resources for ensuring due diligence in approving these grant payments, verifying eligibility and entitlement, and for managing and administering the program. Performance Measurement Strategies are being developed for all programs, consistent with the requirements in the Policy on Transfer Payments, as part of the phased-in approach to implement the renewed Policy on Transfer Payments.

The evaluation process or criteria to be used to assess the effectiveness of the grant program may include, but it not limited to, program/initiative rationale, success, cost-effectiveness, and design and delivery, the results achieved and the nature of impacts and effects resulting from the implementation of programs.

Recipient auditing is not applicable for transfer payments to First Nations, pursuant to sectoral self-government agreements (class grants). However, the Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Funding Agreement sets out the audit provisions and focuses the accountability relationship for financial management and program performance between the leadership of the First Nation and its members.

12.0 Official Languages

Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, access to services from the recipient will be provided in both official languages where there is significant demand and Part IV of the Official Languages Act is applicable. In addition, the department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

13.0 Intellectual Property

Where a grant is provided for the development of material in which copyright subsists, conditions for shared rights will be set out in the funding agreement.

14.0 Other Terms and Conditions

Funding Level Changes

For the cases in which the recipient is a Participating First Nation, the Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreement contains a provision that states that any payment made is subject to an appropriation by Parliament for the fiscal year in which the payment is made. This clause is based on section 40 of the Financial Administration Act, which also provides sufficient authority for DIAND to cancel or reduce any payment made under its funding arrangements in the event that departmental funding levels are changed by Parliament. A similar provision will be contained in the funding arrangement negotiated with FNEA.