School board voices concerns about new First Nations education act

  • Mar. 28, 2014 2:00 p.m.

School District 50 is adding its voice to the many others across the country with serious concerns about the federal government’s planned First Nations Education Act. The act, under discussion for the last four years but not yet introduced in Parliament, is designed to establish structures and standards necessary to ensure stronger, more accountable education systems on reserves and will result in better outcomes for First Nations students, according to the federal government. It will provide an extra $1.9 billion to address a financial shortfall for on-reserve education starting next year.”When implemented, the legislation will provide stable and predictable statutory funding consistent with provincial education funding models,” the Harper government said.But it’s not been popular with many groups, now including School District 50, which agreed to send a letter when it met in Sandspit on Tuesday.”Â…I am writing to express our serious concerns about the (act),” School District 50 chair Elizabeth Condrotte wrote in an undated but recent letter to Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. Ms Condrotte also said many First Nations have objected to the legislation, given its limited timelines and inadequate consultation and accommodation. Ms Condrotte calls the act a “serious threat to our (provincial) system” and said the “proposal includes overly prescriptive, authoritarian requirements”, and “suggests detailed regulations which would dictate how First Nations would operate their own schools”. She ended by calling on the minister to work with First Nations “in a truly respectful engagement to mutually determine what education reforms and funding are needed to support the appropriate and effective First Nations-controlled education system being advanced in BC.” Other critics include the federal New Democrats, which recently expressed major concerns about how and when the act will be implemented and the Assembly of First Nations, whose chief Shawn Atleo said the act is “not acceptable”.

Just Posted

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Red cedars dying in northwestern B.C. from drought

There was a 75 per cent decline in precipitation for the months of February and April

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. residential school survivor’s indomitable human spirit centre of school play

Terrace theatre company plans to revive Nisga’a leader Larry Guno’s Bunk #7 next year

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Most Read