Although the Province has given them nearly a $100,000 to support the creation of Local Education Agreements (LEAs) with local First Nations, the Fraser-Cascade School Board (SD 78) says they’re ahead of the curve compared to other districts.
“Our district is ahead of many other districts in regard to what this funding is targeted to do,” said Natalie Lowe, secretary-treasure of SD 78.
In a letter dated March 28, from the Ministry of Education Resource Management Division, SD 78 was notified they would be receiving a one-time $95,890 grant “to assist in negotiating and (creating) a unique LEA with your local First Nations.”
A key component of the BC Tripartite Education Agreement, which sets out how the Province, Canada, and the First Nations Educations Steering Committee will work together to support the successful educational outcomes for all First Nations students, regardless of where they live or go to school.
The funding provided by the provincial government is “meant to assist with the time required to ensure that the local education agreements (are) negotiated and allow time to meet with bands to ensure districts are meeting the needs of their learners,” Lowe said, but “we already do (this) in a number of ways.”
Priding itself on inclusion, the Fraser-Cascade School District has made Aboriginal learning an important part of its educational mandate, especially since so many First Nations are included within its boundaries.
The District has “monthly Aboriginal education meetings, there are quarterly collaborative meetings and the assistant superintendent is regularly out at various band offices to check in and ensure that any concerns are being dealt with,” Lowe continued.