MPs support motion to end First Nations education funding gap

February 28, 2012

On Monday, the House of Commons voted unanimously in favour of an NDP motion calling for funding that would put First Nations schools on par with provincial schools. The motion was named for Shannen Koostachin, who through an active community-based campaign brought much attention to the plight of schoolchildren in Attawapiskat, the reserve home to Koostachin, who died in a car accident in 2010 at the age of 15. Her best friend, 16-year-old Chelsea Edwards, is now working with opposition MPs and Aboriginal advocates to carry on Koostachin's work. Although the motion passed with the government's support, it is not binding. NDP MP Charlie Angus, whose riding includes Attawapiskat, hopes the Conservatives will make a concrete commitment to fund First Nations education in the forthcoming federal budget. The Assembly of First Nations estimates it would cost an extra $500 million annually to bring reserve schools up to provincial standards. Canadian Press | Canoe | CTV