Indigenous Human Rights: an Overview of the Present Condition of First Nation toward Education Every part of the world has indigenous people whose rights have been deprived. In the beginning, they have free access of the land they inhabit and possess all valuable resources within it but after a contact with European and/or American colonization, they struggle to live freely because of the self-centered actions of these colonizers. One of these indigenous people are the first people of Canada, or most commonly referred as First Nations and/or Aboriginals. Over the past decades, First Nations have been battling for their rights, most specifically to their rights toward education; one of the most obvious reason for this unending battle is the disparity in school funding of First Nation and any other provincial schools. Secondly, the government violates some Indigenous Human Rights declared by United Nations specifically toward the health and education of First Nations. Finally, most of their schools have inadequate access to new equipment suitable for the learning of their children. These reasons reveal the reality of inequality and relaxed response of the government toward the alarming crisis in First Nation’s education. There have been multiple reports regarding the condition of First Nations’ education and the aim of this paper is to let the society see through their selves these substantial gap; thus, this paper is sub-divided into three major parts: Funding in First Nation’s education
Throughout the past years, the government have been working on closing the gap between the educational funding of First Nation and any non-Aboriginal schools. Although the federal government’s objective is to resolve these gap, it is evident that the present funding level resulted from the national formula of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada can no longer finance a working educational program. Of the $1.2 billion in federal funding for First Nations K-12 education (excluding capital funding), only an estimated 57% (or $689.4 million) is actually allocated to support First Nations schools. Over 41% (or $487.3 million) of the remaining funding is allocated to support First Nations students attending provincial and private schools – most of which is transferred to provincial school boards through the many tuition agreements with First Nations communities. Approximately 1% (or $12.4 million) is allocated to the five federal schools in Canada, while an additional 1% (or $10.9 million) goes to INAC’s headquarters office to cover administrative costs. (First Nation Education Council 13) But there have been reports saying that this allocated funding for First Nation is further broken down into different agenda. For example, in Quebec, there has an “estimated $0.9 million (or 1%) deduction for administrative cost”, $3.9 million for additional support to private schools and more than 30% allocated for provincial school” (First Nation Education Council 14); from $689.4 funding for First Nation, only 67% of it actually reaches their communities which in return, they will be forcedly to budget or all of their children end up being an illiterate. According to Ron Michel, Chief of Prince Albert Grand Council, “we follow the provincial curriculum but we don’t have the same capacity in our schools as city schools…. Kids in provincial schools get $16,000. At the reserve, we get $6,500” (qtd. in Adam). This statement definitely proves that any portion of Canada have conflicts when talking about First Nation’s education. It is also evident that they felt victimize by the society for the government does not treat them similarly to any Canadian citizens. Over the past years, the government have been telling repeatedly that First Nations receive equal funding as provincial schools but many journals report that the government have never shown any proof of parity. In Michel Mendelson’s study, he reveals that: There are no regular data collected to compare...
Cited: Web. 8 Apr. 2013.
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