Important Studies on First Nations Education


Awareness-building Campaign on First Nations Education
Since the release of the First Nations policy document “Indian Control of Indian Education” in 1972, a number of important studies both nationally and regionally have concluded their support for its vision. All these studies (most of which were funded by the Federal Government) support First Nations autonomy over education. Several of them have also made the specific recommendation of setting up a First Nations education system that must be funded according to the responsibilities that such a system brings with it. Here is what two of the most recent and most important of these studies had to say.

Report of the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

That Federal, provincial and territorial governments act promptly to acknowledge that education is a core area for the exercise of Aboriginal self-government (…) collaborate with Aboriginal governments, organizations or education authorities, as appropriate, to support the development of Aboriginally-controlled education systems (…) provide funding commensurate with the responsibilities assumed by Aboriginal Nations and their communities”.

Final Report of the Minister’s National Working Group on Education Our Children – Keepers of the Sacred Knowledge, December 2002

That Canada commit to jurisdictional discussions with First Nations concerning lifelong education for First Nations learners on and off reserve (…) We believe that increased funding for First Nations education is essential for the development and implementation of a quality, holistic education and a First Nations comprehensive education system.”

The FNEC also completed a study on tuition fees in 2005, in partnership with the regional office of INAC and took part in the study on the Band Operated Funding Formula, completed in 2006 by an AFN/INAC national Joint Working Group. These studies were entitled as follows:

An Analysis of Educational Costs and Tuition Fees: Pre-school, Elementary School and High School Levels –, FNEC, February 2005.

A Study of Educational Cost Drivers to First Nations Education, Final Report, Prepared for the Joint AFN/INAC BOFF Working Group, April 2006.

These two studies, which contain numerous references to various funding formulae, prove that the formula for First Nations schools is outdated, ignores the costs associated with essential services and funds others on a totally arbitrary basis.

Auditor General’s Report of 2004

The Department does not know whether funding to First Nations is sufficient to meet the education standards it has set and whether the results achieved are in line with the resources provided.”

The Auditor considers that the education gap between First Nations members and the rest of the Canadian population, rather than getting smaller, went from 23 years in 2000 to 28 years in 2004.

Others Studies

– Rationale Band School Formula Funding
– Presentation of a Paper to the Advisory Committee on the Financial Accessiblility of Education
– Management of First Nations Education by the Federal Government and Chronic Underfunding
– First Nations children are being sacrified
– Our rights, our pride
– The urgent need for criteria helping to identify and denounce different forms of forced integration
– Paper on First Nations Education Funding, February, 2009
– General Information on the chronic underfunding of First Nations Education
– Band Operated Funding Formula Summary of Cost Factors
– The Cost of Quality First Nations Education
– First Nations Education Financing