Fontaine, Sniderman: Canada must end education inequality for First Nations

February 6, 2019

“The prime minister says that lower funding for Indigenous students is ‘simply not right.’ It is also, crucially, illegal,” write Lorena Sekwan Fontaine of the University of Manitoba and Andrew Stobo Sniderman of McGill University. The authors note that over the past 16 months, they have pored over papers in government archives in hopes of answering the question of why reserve schools are separate and unequal in terms of the support they receive. They chart the course of Indigenous education in Canada from the era of Residential Schools through the “Integration” era, in which Indigenous students were sent to provincial public schools. After bands and reserves gained control over their own education systems, the federal government imposed a 2% cap on all new spending increases for reserves, and ever since, the funding gap between on-reserve education and provincially funded public education has been widening. The authors note that this gap has also made it very difficult to attract and retain top teachers on reserves.  Vancouver Province (National)