A new five-year agreement will help ensure Mi'kmaq students attending public schools continue to receive the programs and services they need to succeed.
Karen Casey, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, joined members of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey today, June 12, for a signing ceremony for the Mi'kmaq Education Agreement.
"Improving educational outcomes for Mi'kmaq students in Nova Scotia is a high priority for both the province and the Mi'kmaq," said Ms. Casey. "This renewed agreement will continue to foster positive relations with the Mi'kmaq community, ensure a sound financial arrangement between school boards and Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey and provide stability for Mi'kmaq students in the public school system."
The agreement, which is in effect until July 2017, helps guide public school programs and services to support Mi'kmaq learners who are members of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey and normally served under Band schools. This includes payment procedures for tuition fees established by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
The agreement will also help ensure opportunities for First Nations to participate in decisions affecting Mi'kmaq students who attend public school, provide support for improved reporting of Mi'kmaq student outcomes, and help increase the knowledge and understanding of First Nations culture, language and history in public schools.
"Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey is committed to providing quality education to Mi'kmaq students, both in our community schools as well as in public schools, in a way that our language, culture, and traditions are fostered in their lives thereafter and are embedded in their character," said Chief Leroy Denny, chair of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey.
"This agreement and continued working relationship with the province ensures that we achieve those goals for our students attending public schools, and that we prepare these students with the confidence, skills and educational opportunities they need to reach their full potential."
Glooscap First Nation recently joined the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, to make 12 First Nations communities participating in the agreement.
There are about 500 Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey students attending public schools.