Fighting The Aboriginal Industry
Winnipeg- Full authority & control for First Nations education is being transferred to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation in Alberta in line with UNDRIP protocols by the federal government.
A non-Indigenous school though is unhappy with new funding arrangements & is pushing back against the loss of power & funding due to the transfer. The Exshaw School is mostly made up of students from Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The school is found in the Rocky Mountain School Division with a student population which is 99 percent Indigenous. Only two students are non-Indigenous.
Since 1973 the school has been funded by federal dollars. Under the current agreement, the Canadian Rockies Public Schools authority educates Stoney Nakota First Nation children outside of the community based on requests from parents.
The school board is threatening to close the school and its doors due to a budget shortfall, school officials said Sunday to CBC. The federal government and the First Nation are working on transferring full control over education. This transfer will require a new funding arrangement which is controlled by the Indigenous community.
The school is claiming that the federal government has refused to meet with them over the funding shortfall, but the school board has not met with the actual Indigenous community to discuss their needs and what the community wants.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People writes that people have a right to control the education of their children. After Indian Residential Schools and Indian Day schools the federal government has been working in partnership with Indigenous peoples for reconciliation in education.
The current Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller writes in a Facebook post concerning the school’s assertions “This is inaccurate. There will be no funding shortfall and the students at Exshaw will continue to receive the same high-quality education. First Nations control of First Nations education is a good thing. It puts the education of children in the hands of the community – where it belongs. Now the relationship will be between the Stoney Education Authority and the school district.”