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Editorial: A lesson in hope for First Nations – Calgary Herald

FEBRUARY 17, 2014

The handing over of education to Canada’s First Nations is a rejuvenating moment for aboriginal communities. The $1.25 billion over three years which the federal government has committed to the initiative, is the beginning of a plan to fund instruction in language and culture, with $500 million over seven years for improving infrastructure and $160 million for implementing the handover.

First Nations schools will have to match provincial standards, just like any off-reserve school would, with certified teachers and student attendance requirements, but control will be in the hands of First Nations communities. This will make them no different in operation than school boards in cities or towns elsewhere in the province. Local control is the foundation for success because those in charge of operating the schools will live in the communities, know the students and consequently be far more perceptive and sensitive to their needs. They can then craft a school environment that better responds to those needs.

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