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Education

Improving outcomes for First Nations children in care

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Education

Improving outcomes for First Nations children in care

Media Contacts
Ministry of Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-5963
Media Contacts
Ministry of Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-5963

Backgrounders

What people are saying about the protocol

Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BCAFN —

“We need to take every necessary action for our children and youth in care to succeed in the education system and in their lives. As First Nations people, we have called for these types of changes for many years and I am grateful for the commitment of the Province that is represented within this protocol to advance these changes in partnership with First Nations leadership.”

Scott Fraser, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation —

“As part of our shared journey to true and lasting reconciliation, the Province is working in collaboration to create better outcomes and brighter futures for Indigenous children. This new protocol supports the collective work being done to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in our province, building an even stronger, more inclusive and more just B.C.”

Jennifer Charlesworth, representative for children and youth —

“This protocol between the provincial government, FNESC and FNLC should help ensure that a greater focus is placed on closing the long-standing gaps in educational outcomes for Indigenous children and youth, something that the auditor general has called for and that we have echoed, most recently in our 2017 report Room for Improvement: Toward Better Education Outcomes For Children In Care.”

Facts about improving education for First Nations children in care
  • In 2019, B.C. became the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into all laws and policies. The B.C Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act sets out a process to align BC laws with the UN Declaration and guide the Province’s work with First Nations through the recognition of the inherent right of self-determination, including jurisdiction over education and child welfare.
  • The Province has a mandate to move forward on the implementation of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including to ensure that Indigenous children are provided with equitable services and support to those of non-Indigenous children.
  • In 2018, the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada and FNESC entered into the five-year BC Tripartite Education Agreement, which commits the parties to work together to make systemic shifts (i.e., legislative, policy and practice reforms) to support successful educational outcomes of all First Nations students, no matter where they live in the province.
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development is also investing $30 million over three years to help cover monthly living expenses while children and youth in care finish high school or attend post-secondary, life skills and/or rehabilitation programs up to their 27th birthday.
  • To support educators in responding to situations of trauma, the ministry has created resources available at: erase.gov.bc.ca
  • A new professional standard was introduced in 2019 that requires all K-12 teachers in B.C. to commit to truth, reconciliation and healing, and to integrate Indigenous world views and perspectives into learning environments.

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