PBO confirms long road ahead for First Nations education

OTTAWA – A new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirms inadequacies with the government’s funding formulas when it comes to First Nations education, specifically for band operated schools.

 

“It’s shameful, because we are talking about yet another generation of First Nation kids who are not getting the education that they deserve. Article 14 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets out what Canada needs to do to equalize the standard and quality of education for Indigenous children. The government must respect our inherent rights,” said New Democrat Indigenous Affairs critic, Romeo Saganash.

 

The PBO report shows that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) funding mechanisms are inadequate to meet the needs of First Nation schools, especially for remote northern regions that are at a significant disadvantage.  According to the PBO, the education funding shortfall is the result of the government’s inadequate costing for the operation of small schools in remote northern regions.

 

"First under the Conservatives, and now under the Liberals, the government is not doing the work that needs to be done. We need a clear change of priorities. We have to put the needs of children first. Human rights are consistently denied to Indigenous peoples by the Canadian government. Our children have the same right to equal quality education as any other child in this country," concluded Saganash.