March 2, 2020 — Victoria, Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Territory, British Columbia — Indigenous Services Canada
Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Rob Fleming, British Columbia Minister of Education and Mr. Tyrone McNeil, President of the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), announced their commitment to ensuring First Nations students throughout the province have the support needed to get to school and participate in their school community.
Under the British Columbia Tripartite Education Agreement (BCTEA), Canada, British Columbia and FNESC agreed to find solutions to address the transportation needs of on-reserve First Nations students who face specific challenges when attending public schools in the province. Today’s announcement demonstrates a collaborative tripartite approach that will benefit students that have long distances to travel on variable road conditions, and offers new flexible options, so they can participate in extracurricular sports or activities.
The Government of Canada has committed to provide up to $3.8 million for 2019-2020 for the First Nation Student Transportation Fund. The Government of British Columbia has committed up to $1.77 million in one-time costs for new buses. FNESC has allocated $700,000 of its existing federal funding to support block funded First Nations with transportation. The investments benefit approximately 7,820 First Nations students living on reserve who attend BC public schools.