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Original News Release

 


   BACKGROUNDER   

2007EDU0161-001500

Nov. 22, 2007

Ministry of Education

First Nations Education Steering Committee

     

 

THE FIRST NATIONS EDUCATION ACT, 2007

 


The First Nations Education Act, 2007 and its associated agreements are the result of many years of work by First Nations in British Columbia, the Province, the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the Government of Canada.

 

On July 24, 2003, First Nations representatives, along with representatives of the federal and provincial governments, signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the elements of First Nations education jurisdiction.

 

Over the next three years, negotiations continued and, on July 5, 2006, British Columbia, Canada and FNESC signed a package of agreements to set the historic framework of education for First Nations students on First Nations land at the Xweme’lch’stn Estimxwawtxw School in North Vancouver.

 

The agreements included a bilateral B.C. First Nations Education Agreement, signed between the Province and the First Nations Education Steering Committee that recognized the need for First Nations students’ ability to transfer to and from provincial schools; a curriculum recognition process between B.C. and First Nations; better working relationships between First Nations and school districts; and increased consultation between the Province and First Nations on education policy, legislation or standards and joint purchasing initiatives.

 

The federal enabling legislation, which received Royal Assent in Ottawa on Dec. 12, 2006 and comes into force on Nov. 22, 2007, sets into law the provisions of the B.C. First Nations Education Jurisdiction Agreement and recognizes the rights of First Nations to govern the education of children on First Nations land.

 

There are approximately 6,100 students in 130 schools on First Nations land in British Columbia.

 

The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) was established in May 1992 by participants at a Provincial First Nations Education Conference held at the Vancouver Friendship Centre. FNESC’s mandate is to “facilitate discussion about education matters affecting First Nations in B.C. by disseminating information and soliciting input from First Nations.”

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Media

contact:

Lara Perzoff

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Education

250 356-5963

250 920-9040 (cell)

Jan Haugen

Manager of Executive Services

First Nations Education Steering Committee

604-612-5361 (cell)

 

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.