Printer-friendly version   



For Immediate Release


July 5, 2006

Office of the Premier

First Nations Education Steering Committee




VANCOUVER – Premier Gordon Campbell and Chief Negotiator Nathan Matthew and President Deborah Jeffrey of the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) signed a historic agreement today to enhance First Nations education in British Columbia.


“One of the key goals of the Transformative Change Accord we signed with First Nations and the Government of Canada in November was to close the gap in education, and this agreement is a significant step in that direction,” said Campbell. “British Columbia is committed to working with First Nations to ensure that Aboriginal students have the same opportunities and achievements as non-Aboriginal students.”


The British Columbia-First Nation Education Agreement is guided by a framework agreement signed today by the Province, FNESC and the federal government. The framework agreement puts into place a process for the recognition of First Nations’ jurisdiction over First Nations’ education. The B.C.-FNESC agreement recognizes the importance of students being able to transfer between First Nations schools and public schools, and of graduates being eligible for admission to post-secondary institutions.


“This agreement secures federal and provincial recognition of First Nations jurisdiction over education and strengthens the voice of First Nations in a significant way,” said Matthew. “First Nations governance in education will assure culturally relevant programs and lead to improved educational outcomes for First Nations learners.”


The B.C.-FNESC agreement contains the following measures:

·        B.C. recognizes that students graduating from schools operated by participating First Nations will receive the First Nations graduation certificate and be eligible to receive the provincial graduation certificate.

·        First Nations and B.C. will work together to develop culturally appropriate curriculum.

·        The Province and First Nations will work to create education environments that support the success of First Nations students, including building stronger relationships between First Nations and school districts.

·        B.C. and First Nations agree to consult on proposed changes to education policy, legislation or standards.

·        The Province and First Nations will also consult on access to provincial learning resources and bulk purchasing initiatives.



Both the framework agreement and the B.C.-FNESC agreement fulfil a July 2003 commitment between FNESC and the governments of Canada and B.C. to work towards a framework for jurisdiction over the education of First Nations children who attend band schools.


The federal government must still pass legislation that will allow Canada and First Nations to enter into Canada-First Nations education jurisdiction agreements. The Province also will review its legislation following the passage of federal law.






Mike Morton

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

250 213-8218


Corinna Filion

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Education

250 356-5963



Christa Williams, Executive Director

Jan Haugen, Executive Assistant

First Nations Education Steering Committee

604 925-6087


For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at