Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatoon, SK – The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) supports the findings of a recent report that says the province is missing out on over $1 billion a year in economic activity due to the gap in educational attainment.

The report, released this week by the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority provides information that supports the federal lobbying efforts of First Nations who for years have called for an increase in educational funding. The report is valuable but the underfunding issue is not new to First Nations.

“This is something our First Nations have been saying for over 20 years,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “Yet we’ve been faced with persistent under funding for our on-reserve schools and for post-secondary education. The Liberals campaigned on a promise to remove the two per cent cap in annual increases to post-secondary education funding but that two per cent lift has yet to be implemented.”

A First Nation student attending an on-reserve school requires $20,000 per year for a quality education that preserves language and culture. On average, the Federal Government funds an on-reserve student $6,500. Meanwhile, a student attending a provincial-run school receives around $12,000 per year.

“We urge the government to honour our Treaty relationship with the Crown by providing the necessary resources to implement our Inherent and Treaty Right to education that will lead to a better quality of life for First Nation people. We can’t be discussing the same issue in 3 years or 5 years or even next year. Our future and this country’s economy and our health are dependent on action today and not in 5 years,” added Chief Cameron.

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