Man­i­toba opens new First Na­tions school sys­tem

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - CITY + REGION -

SCANTERBURY, MAN. About 1,700 stu­dents from 10 First Na­tions are part of the new Man­i­toba First Na­tions School Sys­tem.

It was of­fi­cially opened Wed­nes­day on the Bro­ken­head First Na­tion. The goal is to of­fer a cur­ricu­lum that rec­og­nizes and in­cor­po­rates the iden­ti­ties of First Na­tions chil­dren, like their languages, his­to­ries and cul­tures.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lorne Keeper says he’s op­ti­mistic it will change the face of First Na­tions ed­u­ca­tion.

The schools in­volved are re­ceiv­ing more fund­ing from the fed­eral govern­ment than be­fore.

Di­rec­tor of sys­tem de­vel­op­ment Nora Mur­dock said First Na­tions schools used to get roughly $8,000 per stu­dent, and now, it’s around $18,000.

“Out of that fund­ing, we were able to pro­vide many more re­sources for the teach­ers to be able to teach the cur­ricu­lum, to be able to be in­no­va­tive in what they teach,” said Mur­dock.

Teach­ers’ salaries are also in­creas­ing, and will be more on par with pro­vin­cial salaries.

The Man­i­toba First Na­tions School Sys­tem is the re­sult of the Ed­u­ca­tion Gov­er­nance Agree­ment, reached last De­cem­ber as part of the fed­eral govern­ment’s com­mit­ment to rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

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