Even with the Assembly of First Nations meeting in Regina this week, the Sask. Party is stubbornly refusing to stop their cuts to education and make good on their promise to eliminate the education funding gap for on-reserve students.
“Every child in Saskatchewan deserves a quality education and an equal opportunity to succeed,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “Last year, the Sask. Party joined us in our call for the federal government to close the education funding gap. But, instead of taking any real action to stand up for all students, the Sask. Party has done nothing.”
The Sask. Party’s cuts to education have only added to the problem. In Saskatoon, 12 aboriginal retention workers were cut, and reduced resources are impacting indigenous students across the province.
“While on-reserve funding is technically the federal government’s responsibility, the Sask. Party promised that they would stand up for Saskatchewan kids, and so far, they’ve failed on that promise,” Beck said. “The Sask. Party is willing to pick fights with Ottawa on just about anything, but when it comes to the education of indigenous students, we’ve seen no action and no results for Saskatchewan people.”
NDP Deputy Leader and First Nations and Métis Relations Critic Buckley Belanger said that, if the federal government continues to fall short on their commitment and responsibility towards indigenous children, the province should take action.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that all students in Saskatchewan have access to quality, properly-funded education,” Belanger said. “This isn’t an issue we can afford to have the Premier, and the Sask. Party government, be silent on. If the federal government won’t fulfill their own responsibility to properly fund education, we should do it ourselves and send Ottawa the bill.”