Soon, Indigenous people will have more say in the choices and procedures that impact the education of Indigenous youth and children in public schools in British Columbia.
The Minister of Education and Child Care, Rachna Singh, stated that “these proposed changes acknowledge the crucial importance of First Nations involvement in the education of Indigenous students.” “Listening and making the necessary adjustments to ensure that First Nations students achieve academic success is a part of reconciliation.”
In order to fulfil its obligations under the Declaration Act Action Plan and the BC Tripartite Education Agreement (BCTEA), the Province is putting up changes to the School Act. Better educational outcomes for First Nations and other Indigenous kids attending provincial public schools, as well as improved board of education relations with First Nations, are the goals of the improvements. The suggested modifications were created in cooperation with the First Nations Education Steering Committee, adopting a distinctions-based methodology. They also represent feedback from First Nations and Indigenous people across British Columbia.
For First Nation students and the British Columbian province education system, today is significant. Tyrone McNeil, president of the First Nations Education Steering Committee, stated, “These changes to the School Act are aimed at improving First Nation student learning outcomes through effective relationships and processes that respect the inherent authority and role of First Nation governments, parents, and communities in the education of their children and youth.”
“The First Nation education system that we have spent the last thirty years developing in British Columbia is based on First Nations authority over First Nations education. As part of this effort, it will be made sure that the province’s public education system respects, acknowledges, and integrates the perspectives of First Nations people in order to provide this student body with more meaningful and appropriate support,” he added.