Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

February 24, 2009 12:00 ET

Minister Strahl Commends the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians congratulates the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) on their Summit on Aboriginal education.

"Improving education outcomes for Aboriginal learners is a shared responsibility for which governments, communities, families and students all play a critical role" said Minister Strahl. "I congratulate CMEC on the important work being done here today and in particular in bringing key stakeholders together to address the challenges in Aboriginal education."

The CMEC Summit, Strengthening Aboriginal Success: Moving Toward Learn Canada 2020, is being held February 24-25 in Saskatoon. Minister Strahl addressed the Summit via video message.

"Real partnerships are required to meet the challenges in Aboriginal education," stated Minister Strahl. "We are committed to working with the provinces and First Nations communities to address the gap in academic achievement between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students outlined in CMEC's Learn Canada 2020 declaration."

In December 2008, the Government of Canada announced $268 million over five years and ongoing funding of $75 million in each subsequent year for two new programs that set the foundation for long-term improvement in First Nations education. Through the First Nation Student Success Program, on-reserve schools will develop success plans, conduct student assessments, and put in place performance measurement systems to assess and report on school and student progress. Through the Education Partnerships Program, the Government of Canada is working with interested First Nations and provinces to develop and enhance tripartite partnerships to support better collaboration between First Nation schools and provincial education systems. In addition to these new investments which support partnerships, the Government of Canada has signed tripartite agreements to improve education outcomes for First Nations students in band-operated and provincial schools, in British Columbia and New Brunswick.

In Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada invested: an additional $100 million over three years in the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership initiative which is expected to support the creation of 6,000 jobs for Aboriginal Canadians; $75 million in a two-year Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund; and two-year targeted funding of $200 million for the construction of 10 new schools on reserve and three major school renovation projects.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada's planned expenditures for 2008/09 for elementary/secondary, post-secondary, special education, cultural education centres, as well as other targeted initiatives for First Nation and Inuit, is approximately $1.7 billion.

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Nina Chiarelli
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations