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The BC First Nations Education System: An Effective Regional Model

/ -- COAST SALISH TERRITORIES/WEST VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - October 06, 2016) - BC First Nations have been working for decades to build a First Nations education system that is consistent with the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education. Unfortunately, this achievement is not reflected in an October 5th CBC article that cites federal officials referring to a cash-strapped "non-system" for First Nations education.

First Nations in BC, working collectively through the BC First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the BC First Nations Schools Association (FNSA), have created a system that includes standards, support services, and accountability mechanisms to strengthen educational opportunities for all First Nations students.

"First Nations in BC began establishing ‎on-reserve schools in the 1970's and in spite of challenges created by a history of inequitable education funding, our schools are seeing marked gains in literacy, numeracy and graduation rates. Recent investments made to support our learners are greatly appreciated and we look forward to increased support for critically important areas such as language and cultural education and school technology," says Pamela Lee Lewis, FNSA President.

"Both Canada and BC have recognized the BC First Nations Education System and this is reflected in our existing agreements," states Tyrone McNeil, FNESC President. "We enjoy positive working relationships with the BC Ministry of Education and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada BC Region, and by continuing to work together, we will build upon our successes for the benefit of our children, adults, and communities."

For further comment please contact:

Thane Bonar
Director of Communications and Policy
Direct: 604-355-8649