This webpage is designed for use by your First Nation, if they wish to consider assuming jurisdiction over K4-12 on-reserve education and join the Education Jurisdiction Initiative.

The steps below reflect the requirements set out in the Education Jurisdiction Initiative Terms of Reference and the Model Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Agreement, (Jurisdiction Agreement). Note, the documents referenced below can also be found on FNESC’s Jurisdiction – Resources webpage.

If you have any questions about the process below, please contact FNESC’s jurisdiction coordinator at

Steps to becoming a Participating First Nation

1. Step One – Confirm your Nation meets the required criteria to become an Interested First Nation (IFN)

In order to be eligible to be an IFN, you must:

  • have, or have confirmed funding for, a First Nation School for students in K4 to grade 12 (or some of these grades) on its reserve land.

2. Step TwoPass BCR to become an IFN

In order to become an IFN, you must:

  • pass a band council resolution indicating your Nation’s interest in exercising jurisdiction over education. A template IFN band council resolution can be found here.

3. Step Three – Pass Second BCR to become a Committed First Nation (CFN)

In order to become a CFN, you must:

  • pass a second band council resolution, and forward to FNESC, confirming your Nation’s request for an offer from Canada and confirming the name of the appointed negotiator. A template CFN band council resolution can be found here.

4. Step Four – Review and accept offer from Canada to become an Accepted Offer First Nation (AOFN)

Once a First Nation becomes a CFN,Canada will provide the Nation with an offer document that sets out the funding available to the First Nation if they enter jurisdiction. Then the CFN must:

  • review:
    • the offer document;
    • the Jurisdiction Agreement; and
    • the Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Funding Agreement.
  • Once reviewed and approved, your Nation’s negotiator must send the accepted offer document to Canada.

5. Step Five – Complete ratification process to become a Ratified First Nation (RFN)

Once your Nation becomes an AOFN it will have to complete the following steps to become an RFN:

  • create a ratification workplan, with three requirements, and submit to Canada. A sample ratification workplan, which includes a list of the requirements, is under development and is coming soon;
  • complete an Education Law-making Protocol, which has the required elements, to be voted on. Two models have been developed which meet all of the requirements – Model A and Model B;
  • prepare for your Nation’s ratification vote by informing members of:
    • their right to vote and how to vote;
    • content of the Law-making Protocol; and
    • content of the Jurisdiction Agreement.
  • Chief and Council must pass a band council resolution:
    • establish a minimum age of voters, who are entitled to vote;
    • determine minimum voting threshold for approval (must be at least 50% + 1 of those who cast a vote);
  • conduct ratification vote by way of secret ballot, where members vote to approve:
    • the Jurisdiction Agreement; and
    • your Nation’s Law-making Protocol.

A template ballot question can be found here.

  • Note: while it is not a required step at this time, it is highly recommended that Chief and Council review the Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Funding Agreement prior to conducting the ratification vote to ensure they are prepared to sign it if the ratification vote is successful.

6. Step Six – Complete final steps to become Participating First Nation (PFN)

Once your Nation has successfully ratified both your Jurisdiction Agreement and Law-making Protocol, then your Nation must:

  • inform Canada of the ratification results; then
  • Chief and Council must:
    • sign the Law-making Protocol;
    • sign the individual Jurisdiction Agreement;
    • sign the Canada – First Nation Education Jurisdiction Funding Agreement

After your Nation completes all the required steps to become a PFN, it must then start to begin to implement jurisdiction. See the Next Steps for Ratified First Nations for further implementation steps.