PROVINCE BOOSTS SUPPORTS FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Manitoba government is acting on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations on education with the release of more Indigenous student achievement data and targeted funding for Indigenous students in public schools, Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum announced today.
“We are committed to moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation in our schools by making sure that Indigenous students have the supports they need to be more successful in school,” said Minister Allum. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report makes clear there is an achievement gap for Indigenous students across Canada. In Manitoba, we’re committed to making targeted investments and doing our part to close this gap.”
When the TRC closed in June 2015, it issued 94 calls to action including seven specifically related to education and being more open about Indigenous academic achievement. The province has launched a new website that will make data on academic achievement, including achievement data broken down by gender and self-identified Indigenous pupils, available for the first time.
“Raising the academic results of our most disadvantaged students is good for our entire province as it will raise the results of all,” said James Wilson, commissioner, Treaty Relations Commission Manitoba (TRCM). “Only by increasing measurement can we hope to increase outcomes, which is why the TRCM supports this mainstream education effort as a means to self-reliance first recognized in the numbered treaties.”
To help ensure Indigenous students are more successful in school, the province also announced new targeted funding that will support Indigenous and First Nations students in public schools including:
providing $500,000 in new funding to provide transition supports for students leaving First Nations schools to attend public schools,
providing $500,000 to increase funding to the Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant that helps Indigenous students with literacy, numeracy and culturally appropriate learning, and
increasing funding to $375,000 to support the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative and pilot a model school for First Nations students that incorporates traditional languages and targeted literacy supports.
“Today’s funding announcements will assist in our continued programming to support our students and the broader community,” said Mark Wasyliw, board chair, Winnipeg School Division. “We have seen the positive results of the Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant and how it helps students succeed in school through improved literacy, which in turn means improved attendance, classroom engagement and pride in learning.”
“Many Indigenous students in our public schools are not experiencing the success that they deserve,” said Minister Allum. “We want every student in Manitoba to have the opportunity to excel and we are committed to working with teachers, parents, schools and First Nations partners to see this happen.”