First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

May 04, 2011 13:04 ET

FNESC: Memorandum of Understanding Will be Signed at 2:30 pm on May 6, 2011 in the Lam Auditorium Faculty of Education (McLaurin Building), University of Victoria

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2011) - The parties to this agreement are ABCDE (The Association of British Columbia Deans of Education); IAHLA (The Indigenous Adult Higher Learning Association (IAHLA), and FNESC (The First Nations Education Steering Committee). This Signing Ceremony will close this year's annual Teacher Education Roundtable conference, attended by professors and administrators who work in BC teacher education institutions and in other educational organizations in the province.

The agreement represents the formal commitment of the partners to work together to strengthen indigenous teacher education in higher learning institutions, with an emphasis on First Nations language teacher education. The parties to this agreement are committed to developing and implementing an annual Action Plan that identifies collaborative strategies to achieve their goals.

  • ABCDE, IAHLA and FNESC agree to advance common understanding that Aboriginal languages and cultures are the domain of First Nations, and will agree to uphold the principles of First Nations ownership, control, access, and possession for Indigenous knowledge, resources and materials; and
  • ABCDE, IAHLA and FNESC agree to share information and collaboratively to discuss issues, policies, and programming promoting effective and appropriate Indigenous Language Teacher Education programs and general Teacher Education Programs in British Columbia, in order to more effectively address Aboriginal education.

In the weeks following the May 6 Signing Ceremony, the Parties will draw up more detailed plans and timeframes to work toward their common goals.

"This is a tremendously important step in opening up new learning opportunities for Aboriginal learners in B.C. and in preparing well the teachers and administrators who work with them," said Dr. Harry Janzen, Chair of ABCDE and Dean of the Faculty of Education at Vancouver Island University. "It is indicative of a strong commitment by all three organizations to prepare Aboriginal learners well."

"Through this agreement, First Nations people will have a stronger voice in the design and delivery of language teacher education programs," said Dr. Jeanette Armstrong, IAHLA Board Member. "It opens the door to create a new generation of teachers who are better prepared to teach First Nations languages to their students."

The agreement follows two other milestones in ABCDE's ongoing work with Aboriginal learners and organizations: the "Task Force Report on Aboriginal Education, 2006-2011" (signed 2006), and the "National Accord on Indigenous Education" (signed June 2010).

  • The Association of British Columbia Deans of Education (ABCDE) advocates for the provision of high quality teacher education programs in the nine institutions which comprise its membership, including effective transitions of Aboriginal learners to their respective institutions and the successful completion of Aboriginal learners in Academic Programs (;
  • The Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association (IAHLA) is an independent society formed to address and further the mutual interests of Indigenous-controlled learning centres in British Columbia (;
  • The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) is an independent society directed by representatives of First Nations communities. It works to advance quality educational opportunities and increased success for all First Nations learners in British Columbia (

Contact Information

    Dr. Sandra Bruneau
    Executive Director
    604-224-3889 (o)
    on May 5-6, 604-329-8717 (cell)

    Jennifer White
    Senior Communications Officer
    604-925-6087 or cell: 604-417-8349