AMC marks International Day of Education
January 24, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement today to mark the International Day of Education.
The AMC recognizes the many teachers, administrators and staff who work together to ensure First Nations students receive the best education ensuring their future growth and success. The past two years has been extremely taxing on everyone and the sacrifices made cannot be understated. The AMC further commends all First Nations students and learners for continuing their studies when possible in the face of COVID-19.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “the AMC continually works to ensure that First Nation students in Manitoba have an education that fits holistic and traditional methods to prepare students for future success. To that end, the AMC remains a leader in advocating for First Nations students across this province. On this day, and every day, I extend my greatest gratitude to all educators who inspire, lead and advocate for First Nations education.”
“First Nations have suffered years of underfunding by the Federal government and no longer accept this inequality as it continues to jeopardize the future of our children. The AMC will continue to ensure that First Nations receive funding that is equitable, predictable, and sustainable.”
“As a priority for 2022, the AMC will continue to advocate for Manitoba schools to teach courses about the Treaties First Nations signed as well as the genocide and impact of Residential Schools. To achieve Reconciliation, all curriculums must teach the dark history that continues to impact First Nations today. With the recent discovery of mass graves throughout Canada, it is imperative to have every student learn about Residential Schools.”
“Finally, with COVID-19 reaching its second year, the AMC has served as the intermediary with the provincial government and First Nations schools to provide rapid antigen tests for First Nation students. We will continue to collaborate and work to ensure a safe school environment for both our teachers and students in all Nations,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas.
AMC’s Recent Work on First Nation Education
The AMC is mandated to reassert First Nations jurisdiction over education. To this end, the Regional Education Agreement (REA) was completed by the AMC and is the first step for complete autonomy on how First Nations run their schools. The AMC has begun negotiating the REA with the Federal government.
The AMC developed a Regional Funding Model (RFM) to establish equitable funding allocation to education that is beyond provincial comparability. The new regional funding formula expands upon the Interim Funding Formula (IFF) provided by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and allocates available resources in a way that better recognizes the needs of First Nations. This new model uses realistic cost drivers.
The AMC understands that independence for First Nation students also extends to post-secondary education. Under the directions of our Chiefs Committee on Education, the AMC was named the designated First Nation organization to take over adjudication and administration of the Post-Secondary Partnership Program (PSPP) funding. The PSPP is designed to support First Nations established post-secondary institutions and First Nations directed community-based programming. The AMC has worked with First Nation leaders to distribute funding in an equitable manner.
AMC also advocates for First Nation students off-reserve. The AMC collaborated with the Manitoba Teachers Society and the Manitoba School Board Association to oppose Bill 64: The Education Modernization Act, which would have consolidated all of Winnipeg School Divisions under one representative. This would have left First Nations students further marginalized.