INAC recently released a powerpoint presentation detailing their policy directions concerning Aboriginal education. It is an interesting document and direction that will have a direct impact First Nation schools across the country. Providing for off-reserve K-12 programming and establishing "school board type" second level services are two parts of their strategic plan that will have a dramatic impact in terms of structure and available resources for on-reserve schools. Below are the contents from three of the slides in the presentation. Click here for the entire presentation ....
From Slide 10: Strategic Policy Directions
As a crucial first step, INAC proposes to pursue the transformation of Aboriginal education by focusing on five key elements at the K-12 level:
- Educational Jurisdiction
- Regional First Nation Education Systems
- School Innovation
- Strategic Performance and Reporting Measures
- Off Reserve K-12 Initiatives
From Slide 13: Current National Context:
- In the provinces, school boards serve an integral second-level (i.e. above school level) support function within successful education systems.
- In the absence of such support for on-reserve schools, First Nations have taken the initiative to create regional school board-type entities in recent years.
- However, these organizations have different levels of capacity or are non-existent in some parts of Canada.
- Furthermore, these organizations are in the developmental stages and currently lack the stable and multi-year funding provided to their counterparts in provincial systems.
From Slide 14: Proposed Policy Direction:
- Provide investments to build on the existing efforts of First Nation second-level service organizations.
- First Nation schools would be able to draw on a range of school board-type services and benefit from economies of scale.
- Long-term goal could be to have complete geographic coverage by these regional systems across Canada.