August 27, 2015 10:39 am
Updated: August 27, 2015 1:40 pm

Sask. government, First Nations sign education agreement

FSIN vice-chief Bobby Cameron and Saskatchewan Education Minister Don Morgan sign historic education agreement.

Devin Sauer / Global News

SASKATOON – The Saskatchewan government and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) have signed a historic agreement aimed at keeping First Nation students in school. The agreement, the first of its kind in the province, will serve as a framework between both parties for school-aged children from kindergarten to Grade 12.

Both parties have agreed to respect and recognize the other’s contribution to improved education outcomes without stepping on each other’s toes.

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Each chief and council will exercise control and jurisdiction when it comes to educating aboriginal youth in treaty territories.

“We want our treaty Indian youth to be part of this economy, to take their rightful place in society and obviously that begins with a high quality education,” said FSIN vice-chief Bobby Cameron.

According to Don Morgan, the minister of education, the agreement is designed to improve graduation rates among aboriginal youth that in his mind are “unacceptably” low.

READ MORE: Joint task force making headway on aboriginal outcomes in Sask.

At present, only 32 per cent of First Nation youth graduate compared to 72 per cent of non-aboriginal youth.

The goal is to increase aboriginal graduation rates to 50 per cent by 2020.

Joel Senick contributed to this story

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