New Federal Budget Fails to Address Issues in First Nations Education
Career Path : Education News
The APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) has already reported of the 2015 federal budget “If the document is designed to attract support at the ballot box to keep the current administration in power, it’s clear First Nation people do not rank anywhere among the Conservative’s target voter groups.”
It’s been a turbulent year in terms of funding for First Nations education. At the beginning of 2014, the Conservatives got themselves in hot water after an attempt to dole out $1.4 billion towards education failed when First Nations leaders rejected the money. Their claim was that the terms of the bill that would issue the money, took too much power away from First Nations communities and put more control in the hands of the Conservatives. That money is still on reserve, with plenty of debate about its proper use hanging in the air.
The new Canadian federal budget, released this morning, has little mention of First Nations education spending. Any money allocated towards First Nations education is, according to the APTN, simply a repeat of funds allocated in previous budgets.
This years’ budget has set aside $200 million to put towards education “to help support First Nations to achieve better education outcomes, including building partnerships with provincial school systems.” This $200 million is considerably small compared to the 1.4 billion promised. Also missing from the budget was funding to improve housing on reserves, or access to water—even with 93 communities still under boiled water advisory. It’s time that the Canadian government understands that the budget status quo will only continue to disenfranchise First Nations communities.
How do you think the government should have funded First Nations education?