Minister Bennett Discusses Ways to Improve Education Outcomes for First Nation Students at Education Roundtable
April 27, 2016 – Halifax, NS – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, participated in an education roundtable held at Dalhousie University and hosted by Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Education (MK). Participants shared ideas on how to improve primary and secondary education for First Nations children, and ways to define what success in education looks like.
Improving the education outcomes of First Nations children living on reserve is critical to improving their quality of life and contributing to stronger communities. Minister Bennett spoke about the importance of providing a safe and healthy place for children and youth to learn and how the academic achievement of First Nations children, as well as their health and well-being, depends in large part on the quality of their schools. In order to achieve this goal, the Government of Canada’s Budget 2016 has made substantial investments in education infrastructure as well as literacy and cultural and language programming on reserve.
In the coming months, the Government of Canada will be announcing the next steps in the journey to shape the way forward on Indigenous education, including details on the engagement process with First Nations to strengthen cooperative partnerships, explore options and develop a roadmap to improve First Nations education. These investments support our shared interests and advance the process of reconciliation, in the spirit of optimism and inclusiveness.
“By engaging all partners involved in delivering education to work together to improve outcomes for First Nations students, we will make great strides. I understand there is no one-size fits all approach when it comes to education, but by working in partnership with First Nations and building on successes, we can create an educational system in which First Nations youth on reserve can and will receive a quality education and be successful.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
“In my role as Chair of the House of Commons Indigenous and Northern Affairs committee, I understand firsthand the importance listening carefully and engaging meaningfully with Indigenous peoples. Our government has made advancing true reconciliation and renewing the relationship between the Crown and First Nations, Métis and Inuit one of its key priorities. Today’s roundtable with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Education in Halifax is one example of our government’s commitment to building that new relationship in the Maritimes and across Canada.”
MP for Halifax
“I am happy to have attended the education roundtable and to have had the opportunity to hear from all the key stakeholders about what we can do in partnership to improve the quality of education for our students. It was very inspiring to see participants working together to share innovative ideas that will help First Nations youth succeed in school and achieve their goals in life.”
MP for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook
- Budget 2016 will provide $969.4 million over five years for education infrastructure. Immediate investments in the First Nations Education Infrastructure Fund will support new constructions, major additions, renovations and major repairs to address school needs in First Nations communities nationwide.
- Budget 2016 will also make substantial investments in primary and secondary education on reserve, totaling $2.6 billion over five years. This includes funding to support the transformation of the current on reserve education system through a respectful process of consultation and partnership with First Nations.
- Budget 2016 also includes $76.9 million over two years to support construction of cultural and recreational facilities, and, as mentioned investments in language culture programming in schools.
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada