First Nation Schools Continue to be Underfunded
For Immediate Release: September 8, 2012
(Saskatoon, SK) Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Vice Chief Simon Bird is gravely concerned with the Federal Government’s response to the underfunding issue to on-reserve schools. The federal budget this spring announced $275 million in new investments for First Nations education across Canada. First Nations in Saskatchewan have yet to receive this new funding nor has a process been identified for distribution.
“Indian Affairs Senior Management is more concerned with ensuring they hit their own pay bonus schedules than providing our children a proper education according to our Inherent and Treaty Right,” says Vice Chief Bird. “In 2010 INAC sent over $330 million back to the federal Treasury Board while First Nations schools continue to be underfunded. Presently INAC provides approximately $6,500 per student to First Nations schools while the province funds schools at approximately $10,500 per student.”
In the Francophone school division, the rate per student is $18,800. If First Nations languages and cultures were honoured as French is honoured, our schools would receive almost three times what they receive now. First Nations receive only moderate amounts of one time funds to develop their language curriculum and programs.
“The recent slashes to First Nations funding for health, housing and advocacy groups appears to be phase two of Harpers residential school apology,” says Vice Chief Bird. “If so, we don’t want any more apologies.”
The FSIN Education and Training Secretariat advocates for the 74 First Nations on Education issues in order to honour the spirit and intent of Treaty. The Education and Training Secretariat also advocates the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty Right to Education that was made more than a century ago. Life-long learning is our Treaty Vision.
For more information:
Mervin Brass, Executive Director of Communications
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