Indigenous Peoples Education

Invest $50 million in additional annual funding to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.

Liberal Platform Page 47 October 5, 2015
Sep 2016

John Ivison: Justin Trudeau campaigned on helping indigenous students reach university but Liberals fail to deliver

National Post September 06, 2016

Most right-thinking Canadians would agree with the contention in the Liberal election platform that chronic underfunding of the First Nations education system has held back many indigenous communities. There was very little push-back when the new government's first budget allocated $2.6 billion over five years for primary and secondary indigenous education to boost abysmal high school graduation rates.

But, curiously, given the amount of money that was being tossed around elsewhere, the Liberals did not follow through on a clear campaign commitment to invest $50 million in the Post Secondary Education Support Program, designed to help native students attend colleges and universities. (The $313-million fund helped 22,000 students in 2013/14).

The real culprit is the two per cent cap on aboriginal program funding that was imposed by the Liberals in 1996 and has governed spending increases ever since, despite an aboriginal population that is growing at six times the rate of the non-indigenous population. The Trudeau government promised to lift the cap, yet it remains in place for post-secondary education funding - perhaps the place where it could have the biggest impact on improving the living standards of aboriginal Canadians.

Mar 2016

2016 Federal Budget

2016 Federal Budget March 22, 2016

Chapter 3 > A Better Future for Indigenous Peoples

Budget 2016 proposes to invest $8.4 billion over five years, beginning in 2016–17, to improve the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous peoples and their communities and bring about transformational change.

The 2016 federal budget makes significant investments in Indigenous-related projects (on average $1.68 billion per year). This promise status will be updated accordingly as the scale of these investments are translated into specific amounts and programs.