We call on the federal government to draft new Aboriginal education legislation with the full participation and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples. The new legislation would include a commitment to sufficient funding and would incorporate the following principles:

  1. Providing sufficient funding to close identified educational achievement gaps within one generation
  2. Improving education attainment levels and success rates
  3. Developing culturally appropriate curricula.
  4. Protecting the right to Aboriginal languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses.
  5. Enabling parental and community responsibility, control, and accountability, similar to what parents enjoy in public school systems
  6. Enabling parents to fully participate in the education of their children.
  7. Respecting and honouring Treaty relationships.

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusAug. 17, 2020STALLED
Previous StatusJune 15, 2020STALLED

Why “Stalled”?

No specific action on developing Aboriginal Education Legislation other than a $3.6M budget allocation for “community-level discussions”. Government response refers to policy “proposal” and a policy “framework”, not legislative action. Also, still no mention of off-reserve or specific needs of Métis and Inuit. Other issues:

  • 31% of the $2.6B Budget 2016 allocation ($801M) is only available after the 2019 election
  • Budget 2018 allocation of $815M over 10 years to extend funding is actually LESS then the 2017 budget: $81.5M annually vs $90M annually
  • No details provided on the First Nations Policy and Funding approach
  • No details on improving education attainment level and success rates
  • No details on developing culturally appropriate curricula
  • No details on protecting Aboriginal languages nor teaching of Aboriginal language courses
  • No details on enabling parental and community responsibility….
  • No details on parental involvement in their children’s education
  • No details on respecting and honouring Treaty relationships

Significant deletion from federal government response:

Deleted “Any discussion of legislative options would need clear support from First Nations communities for ISC to proceed. The government is open to these discussions should First Nations wish to do so.”

Call to Action Details

1. Providing sufficient funding to close identified educational achievement gaps within one generation

  • Only 69% of the $2,600B budget allocation is available in the first term ending Mar. 2020
  • Budget 2017 funding for post secondary education support is only available for 2 years and the Budget 2018 allocation of $815M over 10 years to extend the funding is actually LESS then the 2017 budget: $81.5M annually vs $90M annually

Budget 2019 announced $815 million over 10 years, starting in fiscal year 2019 to 2020, and $61.8 million ongoing in support of Indigenous post-secondary education. This includes:

  • $327.5 million over 5 years to support First Nations post-secondary students and the development of regional education strategies
  • $125.5 million over 10 years and $21.8 million ongoing to support an Inuit-led post-secondary strategy
  • $362.0 million over 10 years and $40 million ongoing to support a Métis-Nation strategy

New First Nations Policy and Funding Approach

Jan. 21, 2019 – The Government of Canada and the AFN announce new policy and funding approach for First Nations K-12 education on reserve to take effect as of April 1, 2019 to support First Nations control of First Nations education, and ensures more predictable and sufficient funding that will better support the needs of First Nations students on-reserve. As of April 1, 2019, the new funding approach:

  • replaces outdated proposal-based programs with improved access to predictable core funding
  • ensures base funding is comparable to provincial systems across the country while working towards additional funding agreements based on need to better account for factors such as remoteness, school size, language, and socio-economic conditions
  • provides First Nations schools with $1,500 per student, per year, to support language and culture programming
  • provides new resources which will support full-time kindergarten in every First Nations school for children aged 4 and 5
  • ensures special education funding is more predictable, with fewer application-based requirements
2. Improving education attainment levels and success rates

The High School Graduation data is from StatsCAN: “% of First Nations, Métis and Inuit aged 25-64 by selected levels of education attainment“. The “Degree/Diploma and Unemployment Rate” are from the Indigenous Economic Progress Report 2019.

3. Developing culturally appropriate curricula

See Education for Reconciliation Call To Action # 62i and 63i

4. Protecting the right to Aboriginal languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses

See also Languages and Culture Calls to Action # 13, 14, 15, 16

5. Enabling parental and community responsibility, control, and accountability, similar to what parents enjoy in public school systems

Not addressed.

6. Enabling parents to fully participate in the education of their children

Not addressed.

7. Respecting and honouring Treaty relationships

Not addressed.

Nunavut Inuit Education Update, June 5, 2019

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) regrets to announce that Bill 25 – An Act to Amend the Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act, which received first reading on June 4, is not a significant improvement over the failed Bill 37 in 2017. NTI’s Tusaqsimajavut Report highlighted what was heard during community consultations: Nunavut Inuit want to see Inuktut as the main language of instruction in our schools (K-12) and early childhood education; more focus on teaching Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit; no reduction in DEA authorities and better support for DEAs; re-introduction of divisional school boards; improved processes between DEAs, Department of Education and Regional School Operations; an end to social promotion; and better inclusive education and student supports.

For the past decade and longer, NTI has been seeking a partnership with the GN on education consistent with Article 32 of the Nunavut Agreement. Over a year ago, NTI proposed the following three joint initiatives as a path to Inuktut LOI:

  • Short and medium term implementation of targeted Inuit educator training programs.
  • A new Department of Education Inuit Employment Plan, with a realistic timeline for representative Inuit employment in schools and the Department of Education.
  • New timelines for Inuktut LOI, based on the IEP timeline for Inuit educator employment.

NTI continues to call on the Government if Nunavut Cabinet and Members to show leadership, transparency and commitment to working with NTI on this three-pronged solution to Nunavut’s education and language crisis.

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

Based on the policy proposal for transforming the Government of Canada’s support for First Nations elementary and secondary education that was co-developed with First Nations, Indigenous Services Canada has established a new policy framework for First Nations elementary and secondary education.

Significant deletion from federal government response:

Deleted “Any discussion of legislative options would need clear support from First Nations communities for ISC to proceed. The government is open to these discussions should First Nations wish to do so.”