FSIN skeptical about First Nations Education Act

FSIN remains skeptical about the Government of Canada’s recent announcement of a retooled First Nations education plan. File / Global News

SASKATOON – The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) is skeptical about the Government of Canada’s recent announcement on a reworked First Nations Education Act.

Last Friday, the federal government announced First Nations will gain greater control of their education system as well as a significant boost in funding.

READ MORE: Harper unveils retooled First Nations education plan

“The $1.25 billion announced by Prime Minister Harper is not coming fast enough. First Nations education programs are experiencing a $355 million shortfall now. They cannot wait till 2016,” said Bobby Cameron, FSIN vice chief.

“We strongly recommend that the commitment be in writing; signed by Prime Minister Harper and Minister Bernard Valcourt, which will state the amount that First Nations students will now receive per school year on our Treaty Territories.”

Story continues below advertisement

Cameron is also pressing to have lifted of an unaddressed two per cent post-secondary cap that has burdened aboriginal students since 1996.

FSIN says aboriginal leaders across the country have waited for control over their own education, which includes a recognition of the language and culture component.

Harper said this will be included in the funding but it is unclear to the FSIN if the money will close the gap.

“We will all prosper from the honouring and implementation of treaties and advancement of our rights as indigenous peoples that are recognized globally and our inherent rights of self-determination,” said Cameron.

According to the FSIN, the feds have clearly stated there has been no engagement process on legislation as of yet.

On Jan. 31, Saskatchewan First Nations leaders conveyed four decades experience of controlling education programs to Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt in Prince Albert.

Sponsored content