Federal Government Must Support Métis and Non-Status First Nations Students Following R v. Daniels Decision

OTTAWA, April 14, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Students joins the nearly 600,000 Métis and non-status First Nations people celebrating the landmark Supreme Court Ruling in the R v. Daniels case and calls on the federal government to immediately open the Post-Secondary Student Support Program to all Indigenous learners.

"Now more than ever the federal government must end the long-standing restrictive funding cap to the PSSSP fund in order to support all First Nations, Inuit, Métis and non-status First Nations students' access to higher education," said Coty Zachariah, Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Caucus.

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled unanimously that the federal government has a constitutional responsibility to Métis and First Nations people without registered Indian status, including the delivery of social programs and services such as the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.

"The exclusion of Métis and non-status First Nations people was a colonial tool used to divide our communities," said Chasity Delorme, National Aboriginal Representative for the Canadian Federation of Students. "This ruling confirms what we have known for generations - that Indigenous people of Turtle Island are united."  

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party explicitly promised to end the 2% cap on the Post-Secondary Student Support Program and invest an additional $50 million per year during the fall 2015 election campaign. However, the Liberal Government broke its promise to Indigenous students when this commitment was left out of the 2016 federal budget.

The National Aboriginal Caucus is Canada's only national Aboriginal student organization, united through the Canadian Federation of Students.  The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 650,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.


SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: Sarah McCue, Communications Coordinator, 613-797-6626 or s.mccue@cfs-fcee.ca


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