Oct 23, 2019
On June 10, 2019, President Clément Chartier of the Métis National Council and Hon. Seamus O’Regan, the federal Minister of Indigenous Services, signed the Canada-Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Sub-Accord. The Sub-Accord aims at improving the education outcomes of Métis Nation students at the post-secondary level. It supports three activity streams including student support, community-based programs and services, and governance capacity.
The signing of the Sub-Accord was preceded by a number of key events, beginning with the April 13, 2017 signing of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Métis Nation as represented by the Métis National Council and its Governing Members, including the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan.
In October 2018, the Métis National Council and the Government of Canada entered into the Canada-Métis Nation Education Memorandum of Understanding on developing Canada-Métis Education sub-accords. The same year, the federal Budget 2018 provided a one-time investment to support Métis Nation post-secondary education through grants towards Métis Nation endowments and a 10-year Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education strategy.
And on March 19, 2019, the Federal Budget 2019 proposed an investment of $362 million over 10 years and $40 million ongoing support for Métis Nation post-secondary education, with the goal of supporting over 7,000 Métis Nation post-secondary students across the country.
President Chartier noted, “This significant, long term federal financial support for our post-secondary students marks a giant first step in enabling the Métis Nation to reduce that gap and opens new opportunities for our population to participate fully in the new economy.”
As the post-secondary education arm of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Gabriel Dumont Institute was represented at the national Métis Nation working group that helped lay the groundwork for the development of the policy around the sub-accord. Using internal data as well as those from Census Canada, the Institute showed how there was a gap in educational attainment between Métis and non-Indigenous populations in Saskatchewan at all levels of education. Gabriel Dumont Institute further noted that the education gap was widening between Métis and non-Indigenous peoples with university education.
The new Canada-Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Sub-Accord will expand opportunities for funding to Métis students attending post-secondary institutions and will not be limited to just the last year of a degree program.
Much like the delivery of labour market services to the Métis, the Institute is hopeful the MN-S will recognize its capacity, experience, and expertise to deliver post-secondary supports under the newly signed accord.
The sub-accord was announced just as GDI and Lac La Ronge Indian Band had launched a new 4-year post-secondary education program – the Northern Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP) to be offered in Air Ronge starting fall 2019.