Canada, 22 First Nation Communities Sign Historic $833Mln Education Deal

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OTTAWA (Sputnik) - The Canadian government has signed a historic C$1.1 billion ($833 million) agreement on education with 22 First Nation Communities in the province of Quebec, Indigenous Services Canada said on Thursday.
"This agreement between the FNEC [First Nations Education Council], its 22 member communities and Indigenous Services Canada will provide an envelope of approximately $1.1 billion over five years for communities to implement education programs that will support the academic success of First Nations students," the news release said.
Grand Chiefs and Chiefs of First Nations Education Council signed the historic agreement with the minister of indigenous services, Patty Hajdu, on Mohawk Territory.
The decision is regarded by many as an important step toward reconciliation and Indigenous People control over their own education, as the release said around 5,800 students will benefit from the financing in 22 different communities around the province.
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Agreed after over 10 years of negotiations between the federal government and the community chiefs, the agreement is meant to ensure proper formation for autochthonous children from kindergarten to Grade 12.
To do so, the students will be presented with a course curriculum representative of their culture and traditions. Investments in appropriate school transportation and classroom technologies, and the employment of over 600 teachers are also part of the agreement, the release added.
"It is because of the determination of the First Nations Education Council and the 22 communities involved that this agreement could happen, and it will keep children connected to their language and culture through their schooling. This is what reconciliation looks like when we work together in partnership," Hajdu said.
The deal is valid until March 31, 2027, after which an automatic renewal and evaluation of the program will happen, with possible adjustments.
On May 4, 2021, the 22 First Nation Communities and FNEC singed a memorandum of understanding regarding negotiations leading to this agreement.
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