The federal government is bringing in a new First Nations Education Act. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement this morning at a school on the Blood Tribe reserve in Alberta. He says the plan recognizes First Nations control over schooling.
The NDP’s Aboriginal Affairs critic and Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder says it’s a big change from the Conservative’s original plan, which would have given a substantial amount of control to the education minister.
The plan included $500 million for infrastructure upgrades on reserves and $1.25 billion in annual funding that will kick in in 2016. Along with money, the plan calls for minimum standards for on-reserve education to match provincial standards. The Assembly of First Nations calls the deal the beginning of a new era for First Nations children.