Cross Cultural Solutions

A National Panel has been set up to investigate ways of improving education for Aboriginal students on reserves. Minister John Duncan and Chief Shawn Atleo have declared that their will be a joint panel on education.  Graduation rates on reserves are significantly lower than that of the general population so it’s the panel’s task to figure out why.  One reason, of course, would be the lack of funding as is indicated in this article in the Times Colonist.   The Federal government needs to ensure that band schools have adequate funding but in times of fiscal retraint, it’s hard to see that happening.  Funding is always a challenge for schools that are in remote communities requiring busses or boats.  Connectivity infrastructure will likely be more costly and there will be many other expenses that would not be incurred in an urban area.  Any lack of funding from the Federal or Provincial levels of government will unfairly impact these less urban communities, likely affecting First Nations students disproportionately.  Schools are a great place to develop cross-cultural understanding.  Underfunding undermines that potential.

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