Education Partnerships Program
This proposal-based program is designed to advance First Nations student achievement in First Nations and provincial schools.
The call for proposals for 2018-2019 is now closed. Proposals were accepted until December 13, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
Budget 2016 is investing $80 million over five years for start-up costs to support First Nations in creating education systems for First Nations on reserve, which is delivered under the Structural Readiness component of the Education Partnerships Program.
About the program
The Education Partnerships Program (EPP) promotes collaboration between First Nations, provinces, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and other stakeholders.
It has two distinct components:
- Partnership: This component supports the establishment and advancement of formal partnership arrangements that aim to develop practical working relationships between officials and educators in provincial systems and in regional First Nations organizations and schools.
- Structural Readiness: This component supports activities that strengthen the organizational capacity of First Nations organizations including:
- formalizing governance structures and developing organizational capacity to deliver educational services to First Nations schools
- start-up costs for creating First Nations school boards
- developing agreements with provincial school boards, such as establishing new approaches to tuition and service agreements, fully delegating responsibility to administer on-reserve schools to a provincial school board, or fully delegating responsibility for operating a provincial school to a First Nation or First Nations organization
Funding is provided in the form of a one-year set contribution. A set contribution is a transfer payment that is dependent on performance as outlined in a funding agreement.
Proposals for both components can now cover either one or two years but funding will be approved on an annual basis.
Structural readiness projects can only be submitted through this program, and not through the First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP). The eligibility criteria remain as broad as under FNSSP.
Proposals must address one or more of the following priority areas:
- activities to support the establishment and advancement of agreements with provinces and provincial school boards to improve student outcomes through:
- improved programs and services
- sharing expertise
- improving coordination between First Nations and provincial schools to ensure smooth transitions, including between elementary and secondary education on reserve and early childhood programs, or post-secondary and labour market training programs through partnership activities that involve other federal and provincial departments
- partnership activities that directly respond to recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report (such as changes to curriculum)
- partnership activities that lead to the development of new approaches to tuition or education services and delivery agreements
- partnership activities that lead to the development of new unique student identifiers enabling the progress of First Nations students to be tracked as they move between education systems or relocate on and off reserve
Proposals must address one or more of the following priority areas:
- activities that strengthen the organizational capacity of First Nations organizations for the delivery of educational services to First Nations schools
- activities to support the establishment of a First Nations School Board that is fully delegated, by more than one community, the responsibility for all aspects of elementary and secondary education including the administration of multiple First Nations schools with a combined student population of at least 1,000 students. (An exemption may be made where the combined First Nations school student population is less than 1,000 when the organization demonstrates sufficient capacity and economies of scale to enable the delivery of services to a standard comparable to that of a provincial school board)
- activities to support the establishment of agreements with a provincial school board including new approaches to school management by First Nations and First Nations organizations; tuition or service agreements; or an agreement that fully delegates the administration of First Nations schools on reserve by a provincial school board
- activities that directly respond to recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report (such as changes to curriculum to include Indigenous perspectives and treaty education; or creating strategies with provincial school boards to preserve Indigenous languages).
Who can apply?
Organizations that received approval in 2017-18 for two-year or three-year proposals should contact their Education Partnerships Program Analyst, at ISC headquarters in Gatineau, regarding updates required to their proposal for 2018-19 (such as work plans).
Regional First Nations organizations that meet the following criteria:
- be provincially or federally incorporated
- have a documented management framework (such as policies or by-laws) outlining the organization's governance structure and procedures
- have documented support from First Nations, communities or schools (such as band or tribal council resolution, or other documentation such as formal letters of support)
- have documented and publically available policy guidelines
- demonstrate economies of scale
- organizational structure includes an executive director or equivalent, finance officer and a board of directors or equivalent
- undertake, as a key function, elementary and secondary education support for groups of First Nations communities or schools
- be in a sound financial position
- agree to produce publicly available annual reports on education partnership projects and expenditures
- if new, replace an existing organization or an amalgamation of existing organizations
Regional First Nations organizations can also manage partnership funding or coordinate partnership initiatives for independent, non-member First Nations if these independent First Nations agree to such an arrangement. Organizations will be required to provide a signed written statement from each non-member First Nation saying that they agree to have EPP funding administered and managed by the organization on their behalf.
Regional First Nations organizations cannot act only as a flow-through to member or non-member organizations under this program. They cannot issue calls for proposals to member or non-member organizations for activities funded through this program.
First Nations organizations including:
- band councils
- organizations designated by a band council
- First Nations regional management organizations who currently undertake, as a key function, elementary and secondary support for a defined group of band-operated schools
Organizations designated by a band council and First Nations regional management organizations must meet the same minimum requirements for funding consideration as those listed above in the Partnerships component.
Organizations do not need to have a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding to apply for the Structural Readiness component of the EPP.
The deadline to submit a proposal was December 13, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
How to apply?
While both components use the same proposal template, each component has different eligibility criteria and guidelines. You must provide a separate proposal for each component.
The template is available through the ISC Services Portal. If you do not have access to the portal, contact your regional office.
More details on the application process, eligible activities, eligible recipients and the monitoring process can be found in:
- Education Partnerships Program: Partnership Establishment and Partnership Advancement Components: National Program Guidelines 2017-2018
- Education Partnerships Program: Structural Readiness Component: National Program Guidelines 2017-2018
- Education: National program guidelines