March 24, 2020
The following update includes information for First Nations Schools and First Nations communities related to school and program funding, FNESC/FNSA reporting deadlines, and opportunities for continued learning in light of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.
As the situation evolves, we will continue to provide schools and communities with the latest information available.
Indigenous Services Canada’s Funding for First Nations Schools
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is aware that FNESC and FNSA, while acknowledging that the decision of whether to close their school rests with First Nations, have recommended that First Nations suspend classes until further notice, consistent with the direction of the Ministry of Education.
Recognizing that recommendation, ISC has confirmed that it plans to maintain K-12 Education funding for First Nations schools, even if a First Nation has decided to suspend classes.
Education Funding Programs Managed by FNESC and FNSA
Funding grants for First Nations and First Nations schools that are administered by FNESC and FNSA will continue as usual for the 2019/2020 school year, including the Special Education Program, the First Nations Language and Culture Program, the School Bus Capital Funding program, Local Education Agreement (LEA) funding grants, School Assessment Program and School Growth Plan Follow-up Grants, the Innovations in Education Program, and the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy Programs.
Please note, however, that reporting deadlines for those programs will be extended until June 2020.
No program reports are required by March 31, 2020.
Further information about the extended reporting timelines and new deadline dates for each program will be communicated by May 2020.
Offering Continued Learning Opportunities
Education authorities across the country are currently taking the time to thoughtfully plan for how ongoing learning opportunities can be provided to students given the exceptional circumstances that now exist. We understand that First Nations schools and communities are also in the process of determining how best to engage with students and families to support remote learning.
We are working closely with the BC Ministry of Education to consider how continued learning can be addressed in a way that is equitable, sustainable, and reasonable for students and families. We are also in the process of identifying suggested home learning activities that are appropriate for a range of grade levels and contexts, recognizing that students and families may have differing levels of access to technology, internet connectivity, and print resources. We look forward to sharing those suggestions as soon as possible.