An agreement between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Federal government will, “reform the way K-12 education is funded in First Nations”. AFN National Chief Perry Bellegard says the agreement, which should come into effect in April, is an important step towards First Nations control over First Nations education. The agreement will provide access to predictable core funding, language and culture funding for students, as well as, “bringing base funding in line with that of provincial systems across Canada while ‘working towards additional funding agreements based on need to better account for factors such as remoteness, school size, language and socio-economic conditions’”.
The statement released by the AFN states that the new approach was co-developed after engagements throughout 2016 and 2017. The statement notes, “First Nations students on-reserve deserve a high quality education with financial investments that meet their unique needs, including supports for language and culture to ensure they get the best start in life”. The statement also notes the new approach will provide support for full-time kindergarten and special education. You can read the full statement here.
AFN Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald states, “Fair and sustained funding for First Nations children and students, including languages and cultures, will lead to better outcomes for everyone. This is a strong step, but there is a lot more to do to create equity in First Nations education and communities.”