Since September 2012, Canada, BC, FNESC and the FNSA have been working together to implement a five-year Tripartite Education Framework Agreement (TEFA), which has the primary purpose of improving achievement rates for First Nation students in BC. TEFA formally recognizes the capacity of First Nations in BC to create and implement a relevant, research-based First Nations education system that will improve student outcomes.
A fundamental component of TEFA is Canada’s commitment to a more flexible funding model for BC First Nation schools that is consistent with the BC Ministry of Education’s funding formula for public schools, with specific adaptations to reflect the unique characteristics of First Nations schools. Since the signing of TEFA, ongoing discussions have been underway to realize the full level of resources outlined in the agreement and to clarify other necessary adaptations to the funding model.
TEFA also includes an agreement from Canada and FNESC to develop BC-specific policies and guidelines that better reflect the needs of First Nations schools, and to consult about federal education policy, guidelines, standards, or legislation that materially affect First Nations education in BC.
In addition, TEFA provides resources to extend and build upon FNESC and the FNSA’s long-standing efforts to assist First Nations communities and schools through meaningful program and service implementation, and it promotes relevant data collection and accountability mechanisms that will inform ongoing programming and improve education results.
Through TEFA, FNESC and the Province of BC have reiterated their mutual commitment to increase success for all First Nations students in BC. This commitment recognizes that two thirds of students from First Nations schools transition to public schools, as many First Nations do not have high schools. As envisioned in TEFA, FNESC is an active participant in provincial policy discussions and regular meetings. FNESC and BC also are working together to establish beneficial educational initiatives by sharing resources and expertise, and by extending relevant services and programs between the First Nations and public education systems.
TEFA is set to expire in 2017, and FNESC and the FNSA are working to extend this very important agreement beyond that time in order to further strengthen the BC First Nations Education System.