SIKSIKA NATION, AB, Sept. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Closing the gaps in the education outcomes of First Nations children living on reserve is critical for the shared success of all Canadians. Beginning with significant investments in First Nations education in Budget 2016, we are taking steps to ensure that every First Nations child on reserve receives a quality education while respecting the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education as part of our commitment to renew our nation-to-nation relationship.
Today, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett announced that $286.4 million has begun to flow into primary and secondary First Nations education in 2016-17. Flowing from $2.6 billion in funding for First Nations education announced in Budget 2016, communities will begin seeing the benefits of these investments, including targeted funding for language and culture, special needs education and literacy and numeracy this school year.
The Minister made the announcement at the official opening of the new Chief Crowfoot Elementary School at Siksika Nation in Alberta. These investments will have an immediate impact at the school level and will benefit students in a tangible way. By investing in a better learning environment, we can help students get the foundation they need to succeed and give them hope for a brighter future.
"We are committed to working in partnership with First Nations leaders and educators to make a significant difference in the lives of their students. Today we take another step in addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action, as we work together with First Nations to support their goals and our commitments for a quality education system. These investments are an important first step as we map out the way forward together."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
- The $2.6 billion investment in primary and secondary education on reserve announced in Budget 2016 will enhance education funding in the short to medium term and help address immediate needs beginning this school year.
- To ensure communities begin seeing the immediate benefits of these investments, funds will be delivered through existing programs and arrangements.
- In the coming months, the Government will announce the next steps on the path forward as we work in partnership with First Nations to develop a roadmap to improve First Nations education over the long term.
Backgrounder [Add LINK]
First Nations Kindergarten to grade 12 Education
Budget 2016 Highlights – Indigenous and Northern Investments
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160