Thursday, April 24, 2014
Text Size

First Nation education funding 'still does not provide equity'

Eleanor Bernard of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey says reserve teachers would still be paid less

CBC News

New federal funding for First Nation education isn't enough to pay on-reserve teachers at the same rate as provincial teachers, a Cape Breton Mi'kmaq leader says.

Eleanor Bernard is the executive director of the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, a Membertou-based organization that provides education funding and advice to Mi'kmaqs. Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey means "the whole process of learning."

She said the $1.25-billion deal would leave First Nations schools behind other Canadian schools.

The Harper government says it has designated $1.25 billion over three years for aboriginal schools across Canada beginning in 2016 — an amount that the prime minister pledged would increase by 4.5 per cent each year after. It will go to core education and infrastructure.

"It's over a three-year period and when you are talking nationally, it's not a lot of money. We're still not going to be able to pay our teachers provincial pay scales, still not going to be able to do a lot of programming," Bernard said.

"It still does not provide equity."

The plan requires education standards on reserves to be consistent with schools off reserves. Bernard said Nova Scotia First Nations schools already meet those standards for teachers and for students.

"We have an 87 per cent graduation rate, which is really good," she said. "Now we need to work on the improvements in literacy and numeracy."

She added that teaching Mi'kmaq was also a priority.

"Our language is suffering because we don't have funding tied specifically to improvements in language," she said.

Nova Scotia First Nations schools are not required to adopt the new plan; Bernard predicts many will not.

Bernard said it was at least a step in the right direction. Nova Scotia already has a self-governing agreement regarding First Nations education.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Write comment (7 Comments)

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

Write comment (2 Comments)

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

EVENTS

April 2014
S M T W T F S
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
Mon Mar 31 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
NICE ‘Indian’ Trust Funds
Fri Apr 04 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
THE 21ST ANNUAL ABORIGINAL MIXED CURLING BONSPIEL

John Bigface

imageimageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

Indigenous Writers Festival 2014 Opening Night

Write comment (0 Comments)

Chief Arlen Dumas Confronts NC Shawn Atleo

Write comment (2 Comments)

Employment