OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 2, 2012) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced today details of the Harper Government's plan for new investments in First Nation education, including $175 million for the construction and renovation of schools on reserve and an additional $100 million to support early literacy programming, services and partnerships with the provincial school systems.
The funding will be invested in eight specific school construction and renovation projects, in new approaches to on-reserve infrastructure procurement and construction, as well as in proposal-driven processes for literacy and capacity-building projects to help First Nations prepare for the upcoming First Nation Education legislation announced in Economic Action Plan 2012.
"Our Government continues to take concrete steps to improve educational outcomes for First Nation students," said Minister Duncan. "Our innovative approach to these additional funds builds on the $1.7 billion our government invests annually in First Nation elementary and secondary education and will ensure that more First Nation students get the education they need so they can pursue the same opportunities available to all Canadian students."
A portion of the additional $175 million for infrastructure will fund projects in communities with some of the most urgent needs, including three new schools in 2012 and five other renovation and construction projects to be completed by 2015.
The Harper Government will invest $50 million to leverage First Nation and industry partnership proposals to 'bundle' the procurement and construction of multiple school projects in Northern Manitoba and Ontario. This will help encourage greater efficiency in the construction of on-reserve schools and expand the department's ability to address the school infrastructure needs of a greater number of First Nation communities. The Government will also invest $25 million in support of First Nation proposals to cost-share school projects and to use innovative concepts in the design and procurement of schools. Officials will be inviting proposals related to these investments later this fall.
To ensure that First Nation education systems on reserve are prepared for the implementation of a First Nation Education Act, and to support early literacy
programming and partnerships with the provincial school systems, the $100 million for education programming will be invested in AANDC's new Strong Schools, Successful Students Initiative.
Under this initiative, eligible organizations will be invited to submit proposals for funding to build school administrative capacity, as well as for early literacy programming - such as early literacy assessment and intervention systems - and other supports and services for First Nation schools and students. A call for proposals will be issued later this fall with more details.
Each year, the Government of Canada invests approximately $1.5 billion in First Nation elementary and secondary school education programming, as well as approximately $200 million annually in First Nation school infrastructure. These investments support the approximately 117,500 on-reserve First Nation students across the country.
Investing in On-Reserve School Infrastructure
Strong Schools, Successful Students Initiative
Federal Funding Levels for First Nations K-12 Education
Quotes on Impact of Investing in On-Reserve Infrastructure
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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