Memorandum signed to improve education for First Nations students
Last updated 6/7/2021 at 10:52am
Treaty #3 Territory, Ont.-Grand Council Treaty #3, Canada and Ontario successfully negotiated a tripartite education Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will foster mutual understanding and respect, and will help preserve, support and revitalize the language, culture and identity of Treaty #3 First Nations by supporting First Nations' control of education to improve student success for First Nations youth in Northwestern Ontario.
Signed by Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief of Grand Council Treaty #3, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Ontario's Minister of Education, and the Honourable Greg Rickford, Ontario's Minster of Indigenous Affairs, the MOU intends to create a forum for the three parties to work collaboratively to help students reach their full learning potential and achieve educational success.
"This tripartite agreement to work together to advance education in the Treaty #3 territory is a major step toward creating a brighter future for the Anishinaabe Nation," said Kavanaugh. "Ensuring that our educators and knowledge keepers have the opportunities they need to develop better education systems is essential to revitalizing our language and culture and creating better outcomes for our students."
Through this agreement, the parties have committed to address efforts to improve education outcomes by focusing on early learning, culturally appropriate education resources, professional development, relationship building and transitioning between First Nations and provincially operated schools.
The federal and provincial governments have invested $1.16 million and $300,000, respectively, to support Grand Council Treaty #3 and will continue to assist the process as the parties establish a joint action plan that will guide the work and progress of the MOU. Budget 2021 proposes to invest $726 million over five years to support work with First Nations partners to adapt elementary and secondary education funding to meet local First Nations needs.
Treaty #3 territory spans approximately 143,000 square kilometres from west of Thunder Bay to north of Sioux Lookout, along the international border, to the province of Manitoba, and is made up of 28 communities, with a total population of approximately 25,000.
The territory includes around 1,300 First Nations students. Currently, 17 First Nations in Ontario have signed the agreement. The MOU is flexible and allows other First Nations in Treaty #3 to join in the future should they choose to do so.
"This Memorandum of Understanding is an example of our government's commitment to foster collaborative partnerships between First Nations, Ontario and Canada," says Rickford. "These investments will support Grand Council Treaty #3 students in Northwestern Ontario develop their academic skills and talents, using culturally appropriate teachings and resources that honour First Nations' traditions and values."