NDP Willingness To Fund Native Education Has Limit

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 15:09



The NDP government says there’s only so much it can do to help First Nations people obtain forgivable funding for post-secondary education.


In a report given to the premier yesterday on education accessibility, one of the recommendations called on the province to “ensure First Nations students have access to non-repayable financial assistance”.


The government minister who penned that report, Warren McCall, notes there are about 1,000 Aboriginal students in the province who should be getting federal help — but aren’t.


McCall says the province’s four-year, $6.4-million Aboriginal Access Bursary can help ease the situation.


But he says it won’t make up the entire shortfall — and the NDP government is prepared to let it stay that way so that Ottawa won’t be tempted to pull out entirely.


As well, McCall says First Nations leaders are usually leery about the province blurring traditional jurisdictional lines.


According to McCall, nearly 700 Native students in Saskatchewan have received $2,000 scholarships since the province created its Aboriginal bursary two years ago.