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First Nations, Métis And Inuit Students To Benefit
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, Jan. 23 – The Ontario government is launching an Aboriginal Education Strategy that includes a new education framework and an initial $6 million investment to improve achievement for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced today.
“We are committed to reaching every student,” said Wynne. “And our new education strategy has been designed to help improve opportunities for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students – whether they live in remote areas or in urban centres.” A key part of the strategy is the new First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, which will set the foundation for improving achievement among Aboriginal students in provincially funded schools.
“This new strategy is part of Ontario’s new approach to building relationships with Aboriginal communities and creating a better future for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and youth,” said Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs David Ramsay. “The framework is an important part of that strategy, as a foundation for improving opportunities for Aboriginal students.”
“The Ontario government’s new policy framework is a positive first step towards recognizing and meeting the educational needs of First Nations students within the Ontario school system,” said Angus Toulouse, Ontario Regional Chief from Chiefs of Ontario. “We look forward to working with the Ontario government on the implementation of this framework.”
In addition to the framework, the Ontario government is investing $6 million to support capacity-building efforts within school boards and build partnerships with Aboriginal communities and organizations.
“We are pleased that the Métis Nation was given the opportunity to provide feedback on the framework,” said Tony Belcourt, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario. “It’s great that this framework has the potential to help so many students achieve their future aspirations, and that it was given such broad consultation.”
“The new framework and accompanying funding is intended to provide support to the education system to improve the academic achievement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students,” said Mario Turco, Director of Education, Algoma District School Board. “This strategy will also benefit non-Aboriginal students as they learn more about the culture and perspectives of Aboriginal peoples in Ontario.”
In addition to the $6 million in funding, the McGuinty government has already invested more than $5 million in initiatives across the province that support Aboriginal student success, including:
– $2.3 million for Aboriginal Student-Focused Student Success Projects
– $650,000 annually for Alternative Secondary School Programs in Native Friendship Centres
– $50,000 to train teachers on Aboriginal perspectives in the revised elementary and secondary curriculum.
"We are committed to strengthening Aboriginal voices and involvement in education, and to ensuring our First Nations, Métis and Inuit students have every opportunity for success," said Wynne. "By working with Aboriginal peoples and communities, we are delivering excellence in education for all of Ontario's students."
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For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister’s Office, (416) 212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892
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