Elementary and Secondary Education

First Nations students have the inherent and Treaty right to receive education that is in accordance with their culture, values, traditions, and languages – free from prejudice and discrimination.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Chiefs Committee on Education (CCOE) and the National Indian Education Council (NIEC) are guided by Resolution 16/2016, Honourable Process to Develop Recommendations to Support First Nations Education Reform, which calls for full and meaningful regional First Nations participation on First Nations education reform, requires any draft federal legislation on First Nations education to be ratified by Chiefs-in-Assembly, and demands that Canada honours and upholds its constitutional obligation for inherent and Treaty rights to education.

K-12 First Nations Education

  • Research and Innovation in Education

    As a result of Education Transformation, as of 2019-2020, the Research and Innovation Program has been regionalized and it is now up to First Nations to determine their implementation approach, eliminating the national-selection committee.

  • Education Partnership Program Review

    In April 2019, the CCOE motioned that the NIEC and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) form a working group to review and recommend necessary changes to the Education Partnership Program. In August 2019, the EPP Working Group made recommendations for minor and major changes to the program to reflect First Nations control of First Nations education.

  • Treaty Education

    In July 2019, First Nations-in-Assembly supported Resolution 33/2019, Developing a Ten Year Treaty Education Implementation Plan , which calls for every school, grade and class in Canada to have access to Treaty education resources and training. The AFN Education sector continues to consult First Nations, Treaty Commissioners, the CCOE and the NIEC on this implementation plan.

First Nations K-12 Education Transformation

  • Budget 2016

    Budget 2016 allocated $2.6 billion over five years for improving primary and secondary education for First Nations children and $129.4 million over two years for supporting early learning and child care. On December 5, 2017, First Nations-in-Assembly resolved to support AFN Resolution 65/2017, New Interim Funding Approach for First Nation Education. This has resulted in the co-development of a Policy Proposal for a new funding approach to First Nations on-reserve education to support students, schools and communities. The new approach to funding replaces ISC’s outdated, inefficient and inadequate proposal-based education programs with regional education approaches and funding models that provide sufficient, predictable and sustainable funding.

    March 2016

  • New Interim Regional Funding Models

    As of April 1, 2019, the series of new interim regional funding models for elementary and secondary education have been implemented.  As a result First Nations across the country are at various stages of implementation, experiencing diverse challenges and successes. Many First Nations are engaging in regional technical table meetings to further examine their interim formulas to determine next steps, as the provincial comparability standards are inadequate to achieving substantive equality and improved outcomes. In addition, a number of First Nations across the country are in the process or have concluded negotiations of their local, Treaty and/or regional education agreements.

    April 2019

  • AFN Resolution 35/2019

    In July 2020, First Nations-in-Assembly passed AFN Resolution 35/2019, Additional Funding for First Nations Elementary and Secondary Education, to call on the Government of Canada to provide additional investments in 2020 for First Nations elementary and secondary education in order to complete local, Treaty and/or regional education agreements that accurately and adequately reflect the diverse needs and circumstances of First Nations learners, schools, communities and education organizations.

    July 2020

Unique Needs of Northern and Remote Communities Task Team

The Unique Needs of Northern and Remote Communities Task Team provides a national forum for jointly discussing and ensuring the unique educational needs of First Nations students located in and from northern and remote First Nations communities are identified.

The Task Team provides regional and national recommendations to improve access to high quality education for northern and remote First Nations schools and students.

This includes providing a comprehensive breakdown of the unique cost drivers and priorities which education infrastructure, connectivity, human resources, wrap-around student services, curriculum, etc.

Recent Documents

Federal Commitments

  • The Federal Budget 2016 allocated $2.6 billion over five years for improving primary and secondary education for First Nations children.
Celso CercadoK-12 Elementary and Secondary Education