The leader of Saskatchewan’s New Democrats plans to bridge the First Nation’s education funding gap and send the bill to Ottawa.
In a release set out Saturday, the NDP said if elected, Cam Broten would make sure federally funded Saskatchewan First Nations reserve schools get the same funding as provincial schools. His plan would include funding schools with provincial money immediately and “sending the bill to the federal government.”
“Right now, there are children in our province that aren’t getting a fair shot at fulfilling their potential because they’re not getting the education they deserve. That must change,” Broten wrote.
The federal government pledged $2.6 billion in First Nations education over four years and $500 million over three years in infrastructure, but the NDP said they have become doubtful they’ll follow through.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is taking a second look at ways to improve First Nations education after learning $1.25 billion in funds they thought would be available were taken off the books by the previous government.
Broten’s plan also includes extending the provincial training allowance to cover training on reserves, implementing a First Nations and Métis employment development program to boost aboriginal employment, doubling early childhood intervention programs, expanding adult basic education, and implementing calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.