Op-Ed: First Nations Elementary & Secondary School Education – A National Dilemma

Harvey McCue
2018 Critical Social Work  
During the past five years, First Nations elementary-secondary education has been the focus of some useful recommendations in two major reports: The Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples in 2011, "Reforming FN Education: From Crisis to Hope," and the 2012 Report of the National Panel on First Nations Elementary-Secondary Education. In response, the Harper government introduced Bill C-33 in 2014, the first-ever federal First Nations Education Act. Both reports identified much-needed
more » ... orms and despite vociferous opposition by most First Nations leaders the First Nations Education Act was a serious effort to accommodate some of them. But neither the reports nor the eventually torpedoed Bill C-33 zeroed in on the three key components that serve as the foundation of any education program: teachers, principals, and the curriculum. If these three elements remain untouched in the new Liberal government's First Nations education policies, First Nations education outcomes will continue to be a national humiliation. This conceptual paper offers a critique of the provincial and federal governments' approaches to remedying the dire condition of elementary and secondary school education for First Nations youth, with a focus on teachers, principals, and curriculum.
doi:10.22329/csw.v19i2.5683 fatcat:puj7jz5snjhqbacepmftjhrs2a