Vol. 148, No. 13 — June 18, 2014
SOR/2014-132 May 29, 2014
MI’KMAQ EDUCATION ACT
Order Adding the Glooscap First Nation to the Schedule to the Mi’kmaq Education Act
P.C. 2014-618 May 29, 2014
Whereas the Governor in Council is satisfied that, on June 13, 2013, the council of the Glooscap First Nation, a band within the meaning of the Indian Act, has, in a manner consistent with the Agreement, authorized the Agreement to be signed on behalf of the band and is satisfied that the Agreement was signed on behalf of that band on February 25, 2014;
Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, pursuant to subsection 12(1) of the Mi’kmaq Education Act (see footnote a), makes the annexed Order Adding the Glooscap First Nation to the Schedule to the Mi’kmaq Education Act.
ORDER ADDING THE GLOOSCAP FIRST NATION TO THE SCHEDULE TO THE MI’KMAQ EDUCATION ACT
1. The schedule to the Mi’kmaq Education Act (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following after item 4:
4.1 Glooscap First Nation
COMING INTO FORCE
2. This Order is deemed to have come into force on April 1, 2014.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
In 1998, the Mi’kmaq Education Act gave effect to Canada’s first sectoral self-government arrangement in education — An Agreement with Respect to Mi’kmaq Education in Nova Scotia (hereafter referred to as the Agreement). The Agreement currently serves 2 912 kindergarten to grade twelve students, 82% whom attend First Nation schools with the balance served by provincial schools through tuition agreements negotiated with the Nova Scotia Ministry of Education. The Agreement has allowed participating First Nations to exercise jurisdiction over the education of their students and has helped generate a marked increase in graduation rates. This jurisdiction over education provides member communities with responsibility for band-operated schools, provincial tuition agreements, special education services, post-secondary education and education capital. The current post-secondary enrolment rate is 518 students (2012–2013).
Nine of the thirteen Mi’kmaq First Nations in Nova Scotia opted to participate in the Agreement when it began in 1997, a tenth community joined in 2005, and an eleventh community joined in 2011. Glooscap First Nation, by Band Council Resolution, dated June 13, 2013, authorized the Chief of Glooscap First Nation to sign the Agreement and notified the Province of Nova Scotia and Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (a corporate body, governed by a board of directors consisting of the chiefs of the participating communities, to manage education affairs) of the First Nation’s desire to be included on the schedule of participating communities and become the twelfth participating community under the Agreement. The addition of Glooscap First Nation to the Agreement will add approximately 13 kindergarten to grade twelve students and approximately 20 post-secondary students.
The Mi’kmaq Education Act, S.C., 1998, c. 24 brought into force an Agreement with Respect to Mi’kmaq Education in Nova Scotia (the Agreement), which was signed on February 14, 1997, between the Government of Canada and the participating Mi’kmaq Bands of Nova Scotia. The legislation gives signatory First Nations in Nova Scotia jurisdiction in the area of education in accordance with the Agreement. According to the Mi’kmaq Education Act, S.N.S. 1998, c. 17, the Province of Nova Scotia recognizes by way of legislation the Mi’kmaq education system in Nova Scotia.
The Mi’kmaq Education Act allows for the addition to the schedule of Mi’kmaq First Nations in Nova Scotia by the Governor in Council when the following conditions are met:
- The First Nation Band Council has passed a Band Council Resolution authorizing the signing of the Agreement.
- The Agreement is signed by the Chief of the Band Council on behalf of the Band.
The Order Adding Glooscap First Nation to the Schedule to the Mi’kmaq Education Act enables the First Nation to benefit from the same control over education and complementary programming as the other signatories to the Agreement.
The Agreement and the Mi’kmaq Education Act provide three major benefits by
- Closing the gap in educational attainment at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels;
- Advancing the exercise of jurisdiction over education by Mi’kmaq First Nations in Nova Scotia; and
- Supporting Mi’kmaw language, culture and history programming in First Nation and provincial schools in Nova Scotia.
An Agreement with Respect to Mi’kmaq Education in Nova Scotia delegates jurisdiction over education to the participating Mi’kmaq communities; establishes Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey as the corporate body to manage education affairs (governed by a board of directors, consisting of the chiefs of the participating communities); and provides for the delivery of education programming and services to kindergarten to grade twelve students and the administration of funding for post-secondary students.
The Agreement is yielding impressive results, with an annual graduation rate of 87.7%, which has been improving steadily over the last few years and increased fluency among students in the Mi’kmaw language (2012–2013 Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Annual Report). The Province of Nova Scotia graduation rate for 2011–2012 was 88.6%, while the national average First Nations graduation rate is 42% (2010–2011).
Currently, Glooscap First Nation operates under the Indian Act, whereby the federal government provides for elementary and secondary education on-reserve (based on sections 114–122). Students from Glooscap First Nation attend kindergarten on-reserve and then attend nearby provincial schools for the rest of their education. Upon joining the Agreement, students will continue to be schooled at the same facilities and under the provincial curriculum, but will have access to additional programs and services offered by Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey.
Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey performs many of the school board and ministry level functions of provincial education systems. Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey assists First Nations in the exercise of jurisdiction over education; coordinates and facilitates the development of education policies and objectives for participating communities; assists communities with the administration and management of education, including the distribution of annual grant money among communities; carries out research, development, and implementation of initiatives in the education of Mi’kmaq citizens; collaborates with the Nova Scotia Ministry of Education through a Master Education Agreement, which aims to raise the educational attainment of Mi’kmaq learners in both First Nation and provincial schools; and acts as a resource centre for Mi’kmaw language and cultural education. Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey’s students participate in the provincial assessment regime, where performance in core subject areas of math, science, and literacy are evaluated at regular intervals (grades three, six, nine, and twelve). Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey has the authority to set the curriculum and graduation requirements for students within its system; however, it has chosen to follow the Nova Scotia Ministry of Education curriculum and graduation requirements, so that students may transfer between the two systems without penalty. Furthermore, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey works closely with Nova Scotia through a Joint Planning Committee, which oversees the implementation of the Master Education Agreement and ensures the sharing of student data and outcomes between the two systems.
Student success is a result of a number of initiatives, such as infusing the Mi’kmaq language and culture into the K-12 provincial curriculum. This has been a priority of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and participating communities. Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey has been successful in accessing funding available through the Education Partnerships Program and the First Nation Student Success Program under the 2008 Reforming First Nation Education Initiative. Under the First Nation Student Success Program, math tutoring has played a large part in student success, as well as the school success planning process. Student retention had been a challenge, however, under the First Nation Student Success Program, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey launched a project entitled the Red Road Youth Leadership Program in 2011–2012. The Program aims to help youth to stay in school and to refrain from using drugs and alcohol. The Program fosters promoting a healthy lifestyle for the youth and focuses on leadership development. In 2012–2013, the student attendance rate was 86%.
Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Student Information System tracks student outcomes and provincial assessment results in literacy and numeracy. Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Student Information System enables teachers to be more aware of their students’ academic achievements and weaknesses. Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Student Information System prompts what professional development training is needed by teachers to address low assessment scores in literacy and numeracy. Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Student Information System team continues its development with more modules aimed at supporting the work of teachers in the classroom, which in turn helps students achieve their potential. Since 2009, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey has maintained a bilateral working relationship with the Nova Scotia Department of Education on many initiatives, including but not limited to, the coordination of provincial assessments, the development of an Education Services Agreement and a Math Tutoring Program.
More importantly, both partners are sharing and networking on data and staff provincial development. Since administering the post-secondary education program, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey has seen more and more community members graduate from teacher training programs. There are approximately 520 students in postsecondary education institutions. Approximately 84 students graduated from post-secondary education in 2012–2013. More school administrators are receiving specialized leadership training. Much of the specialized training is done in partnership with local universities including the Cape Breton University, the Nova Scotia Educational Leadership Consortium and the St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this Order. The amendment to the Schedule to the Mi’kmaq Education Act does not result in any new administrative burden for businesses, nor does it remove any administrative burden on businesses.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to this Order. The amendment to the schedule to the Mi’kmaq Education Act does not impose any level of compliance costs and/or administrative costs on small businesses.
Glooscap First Nation Band Council signalling the community’s intent to join the Agreement to the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey undertook a process of community consultation whereby First Nation members have been properly and adequately informed regarding the purpose and consequences of the Agreement with Canada with respect to education. Three community meetings were held in June 11 and 12, 2013, and written overviews were distributed, which provided community members with information about joining the Agreement. All who attended the community meetings were in favour of the proposal. Furthermore, the First Nation Band Council provided a number of other opportunities for community members to discuss whether the First Nation Band Council should sign the Agreement, including options to phone, write or speak to a member of the First Nation Band Council. Based on these community consultations, the First Nation Band Council and Chief determined that community consensus exists for Glooscap First Nation to join the Agreement.
Glooscap First Nation currently receives community education funding from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada through contributions for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education program and services. These costs are covered by existing departmental funding levels and would continue at approximately the same levels, but would be in the form of an annual grant rather than a contribution.
Grant funding creates certainty around finances, as the amount of the grant is set at known levels for the duration of a funding agreement (five years) and it does not require yearly submissions to be considered for financial support. In addition to the current level of funding provided to Glooscap First Nation, its adhesion to the Agreement will result in a nominal cost of $14,800 annually for incremental governance funding to support Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey’s role in delivering second and third level (school board and ministry level) educational services to the community.
Glooscap First Nation has determined that participation in the Agreement will provide a number of key benefits for their community members and students. The community will be able to take advantage of the wide range of policy, research, and program initiatives and administrative services provided by Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, the body corporate that runs the education programming for participating communities. Furthermore, as a member of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, Glooscap First Nation will be able to take advantage of the favourable tuition rates negotiated between Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and the Province of Nova Scotia for on-reserve students who attend provincially-run schools. In addition, the Agreement is yielding academic results, with a reported graduation rate of 87.7% and increased student fluency in the Mi’kmaw language as cited in the 2012–2013 Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Annual Report.
The adhesion of Glooscap First Nation to the Mi’kmaq Education Act recognizes the right to Aboriginal self-government and is consistent with the terms of the Agreement with Respect to Mi’kmaq Education in Nova Scotia (1997), which allow for the inclusion of new communities into the Agreement.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The Mi’kmaq Education Act allows for the addition to the Schedule of Mi’kmaq First Nations in Nova Scotia by the Governor General in Council when the following conditions are met:
- The First Nation Band Council notified Canada and Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey of its intent to change its status as a non-participating community and has passed the required Band Council Resolution authorizing the signing of the Agreement.
- The Agreement is signed by the Chief of the Band Council on behalf of the Band.
Glooscap First Nation, by Band Council Resolution, dated June 13, 2013, authorized the Chief of Glooscap First Nation to sign the Agreement and notified Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, and Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, of the First Nation’s desire to be included on the schedule of participating communities. The Chief of Glooscap First Nation and the board of directors of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey ratified the amendment of the tripartite agreement to add Glooscap on September 6, 2013. The amendment of the tripartite agreement was further signed by the Premier of Nova Scotia on August 21, 2013, and by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development on February 3, 2014. The Chief of Glooscap First Nation signed the Agreement on February 25, 2014. The membership of Glooscap First Nation, as a participating community under An Agreement With Respect to Mi’kmaq Education in Nova Scotia, will be effective on April 1, 2014.
There are no compliance and enforcement requirements associated with this Order and no implementation or ongoing costs which can be directly associated with adding Glooscap First Nation to the Schedule to the Mi’kmaq Education Act.
Atlantic Regional Office
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
40 Havelock Street
Amherst, Nova Scotia
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
10 Wellington Street, North Tower
Terrasses de la Chaudière
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