On October 11, 2017, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, visited the Sergeant Tommy Prince School in Brokenhead Ojibway Nation to celebrate the grand opening of the Manitoba First Nations School System.
The first of its kind in Canada, this school system is the result of the Education Governance Agreement that was reached in December 2016 between the Government of Canada and the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, representing local First Nations leadership. It finally brings education funding for First Nations students at a level comparable to other students across Manitoba.
While the new school system will follow the provincial curriculum, it will incorporate First Nations languages, cultures and histories. This will help increase student outcomes, including retention and graduation rates. This new educational model responds to several of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and reflects Canada’s efforts towards meaningful reconciliation.
This was truly a historic day for First Nations as they move toward self-governance in education. May this celebration be the first of many to come for First Nations across Canada.
Best wishes to all, Ka Minopanihikon, Minwendaagwan, meilleurs voeux!