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School Trustees In Support Of Indian Education Policy

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JUNE 1974      v04 n05 p23  
Vancouver - The Canadian School Trustees' Association (CSTA) have adopted recently, a policy statement in which Indian parents must enjoy the same decision making rights about their children's education as other parents across Canada.

A new Indian education policy that will see control of education gradually turned over to Indian parents as was announced by Indian Affairs Minister, Jean Chretien, was supported by the statement of the CSTA.

Many Indian bands have already assumed full or partial control over federal reserve schools.

The change will affect thousands of Indian children attending schools run by the provincial government. These groups may elect to receive the money the federal government now channels to provincial governments for tuition and other costs.

Verna Kirkness, a consultant with the Native Indian Brotherhood (NIB), told CSTA delegates that federal government administration of Indian education has been totally unsatisfactory.

The CSTA statement said any transfer of educational jurisdiction from the federal government to the provinces must be done with prior consultation with the Indian people.

It also urged the provincial governments to provide legislation to permit Indians to sit on school boards providing for the education of their children.

The children should have an opportunity to learn their own language, history and culture in the classroom, and curricula should be revised to recognize contributions of their people to Canadian history, the statement said.

Other CSTA requirements include Indian teacher-aides, replacement of substandard buildings to bring reserve schools up to provincial standards and provision for special facilities such as residences and day-schools where needed.