Government of Canada supports access to Education for First Nations students

REGINA, July 26, 2017 /CNW/ - The education and skills First Nations students acquire through higher learning can help equip them to participate fully in the economic and social well-being of their communities, and contribute to a strong, prosperous future for Canada.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, announced a total of $5 million to support important initiatives that will help First Nations students pursue and complete their studies.

Under today's announcement, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) will receive $2 million through the Government of Canada's Post-Secondary Partnerships Program each year, for two years, starting in 2017-2018. This funding will serve as a pilot project to determine how longer-term sustainable funding provides lasting benefits for Indigenous students and the Institute.

This initiative marks the first step in the Government of Canada's Comprehensive Review of Post-Secondary Education, undertaken in collaboration with Indigenous partners. This review will ensure that the current federal programs supporting Indigenous students' pursuit of post-secondary education, meet their actual needs in supporting attendance and completion of their chosen degree. 

In addition, $3 million will be provided to First Nations University of Canada to develop a National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education.


"Education opens doors to new opportunities and gives indigenous students the confidence to be able to achieve success and to walk in both worlds. Congratulations and thank you to SIIT and the First Nations University of Canada for their leadership and dedication to creating a more vibrant future for all. We are honoured to work closely with both institutions and to support these First Nation-led initiatives that encourage students to be proud of who they are, pursue their dreams and fully participate in the Canadian and global economies."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

"We are pleased with the announcement of federal operating funding for SIIT. As an Indigenous post-secondary institution, operational funding allows SIIT to invest in programming and resources that directly and positively impact the lives of our Indigenous students." 

Riel Bellegarde
President & CEO, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies

"We look forward to working with all those involved in Indigenous education across Canada, to develop this important initiative. The National Centre for Collaboration represents a tremendous opportunity to advance Indigenous education in Canada."

Dr. Mark Dockstator, President, First Nations University of Canada

Quick fact

The National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education will serve as an informational resource base for reconciliation, and will focus on the growing needs of students, educators and the various policy and other decision makers involved in Indigenous K-12 education in Canada.

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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: For more information, media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160

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