It appears the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations may be getting a little more comfortable with the idea of a federal strategy for First Nations education.
Vice-chief Bobby Cameron recently attended a meeting with federal officials where he says the issue came up.
Cameron says he’s relieved to hear the federal government has begun to openly ask First Nations what they want to see contained in the federal blueprint.
“I was at a meeting in Prince Albert with some of the federal officials,” he says. “You know that was the comment that really got my attention, ‘Tell us what you want in there.’”
So what that says to me is that (we) are going to have more inclusion in terms of getting our leaders to the negotiating table. Inclusion right, input, full inclusion, input is what’s needed.”
He says inclusion is something chiefs have been calling for since the strategy was announced, and it’s good to see their request has found an audience.
“We want a say in what’s being said, or what’s gonna be implemented, or what’s going to be decided for our Indian kids in Canada,” he says
Cameron adds comparable funding for on-reserve schools is another priority.
He notes the two per cent funding cap on education is not keeping pace with the population rise among First Nations people.
The FSIN estimates federal funding for on-reserve schools is approximately 60 per cent of what provincial schools receive.
Cameron adds the median age of First Nations people in the province is 20, the youngest of any province.