First Nations Education: Bill C-33 Not Dead
Career Path : Education News
After years of debate about how to tackle the low graduation rates of First Nations youth in Canada, 2014 saw the emergence of Bill C-33, or the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act. Here are the main clauses of the act:
- Aligning on-reserve education with provincial standards
- Ensure teachers have proper certification
- Ensure student attendance requirements
- Provide $1.9 billion in federal funding over three years starting in 2016.
Backlash towards this revised bill came from First Nations leaders who say that the act puts too much power and control in the hands of the federal government. The bill was shut down through a vote by the Assembly of First Nations chiefs. Meanwhile, other First Nations leaders suggest putting politics aside and taking the bills 1.9 billion dollars into account—money that on-reserve education desperately needs. While First Nations leaders are divided over opinions on the bill, the federal government and minister of aboriginal affairs are currently in discussion about a new bill which supports regional and local diversity. The ideal legislation would give First Nations control over their education policies, and control over the distribution of the $1.9 billion.