OTTAWA, Jan. 25, 2012 /CNW/ - Students call on the federal government to
honour the Treaty rights guaranteed to Aboriginal students to access
post-secondary education. Despite rising tuition fees in many
provinces, the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) has been
capped at two per cent growth since 1996. This has prevented tens of
thousands of Aboriginal students from attending college or university.
"If the federal government is serious about providing Aboriginal
students with the opportunity to get the skills and training they need
to participate in the Canadian economy, it should increase funding
available to students who are ready to attend college or university,"
said Patrick Smoke, Aboriginal Students' Representative for the
Canadian Federation of Students. "The PSSSP has been shown to be a very
successful program, but it is dramatically short on funds."
Due to the funding cap on the PSSSP, approximately 20,000 eligible
students are currently on a waiting list to get funding to continue
their studies. First Nations and Inuit communities are forced to make
extremely difficult decisions about who to fund, and for how much,
using limited funds. In addition, Metis and non-status students receive
no funding to pursue their education.
"Above and beyond the moral and legal obligation of the federal
government to fund Aboriginal Students access to education, ensuring
Aboriginal students' right to education would have a significant impact
on the Canadian economy," added Smoke. "The federal government must
lift the funding cap on the PSSSP and deliver on long-time promises to
In one week, on February 1, students from across the country will hold a
National Student Day of Action to call for increased access to
post-secondary education for all students. Students will be holding
actions and rallies in several Canadian cities including Halifax,
Ottawa, Toronto, Regina and Vancouver to reduce tuition fees, drop
student debt and increase education funding.
For more information on the February 1 National Student Day of Action,
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information:
Roxanne Dubois, National Chairperson, 613-232-7394
Patrick Smoke, Aboriginal Students' Representative, 705-931-2445