Decision Maker Response

Tom Mulcair’s response

Oct 16, 2015 — Thank you for signing the petition calling for an end to the gap in
funding for First Nations education.

The NDP believes it is time for a new era in our relationship with
Indigenous peoples, a true nation-to-nation relationship, built on
respect and meaningful progress when it comes to bringing
about change.

An NDP government will create a cabinet-level committee
chaired by Prime Minister Tom Mulcair to ensure that all
government decisions respect treaty rights, inherent rights, and
Canada’s international obligations.

We will implement the principles of the UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and we will take action on the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.

We will also remove the punitive 2% funding cap on social
transfers to Indigenous communities imposed by the previous
Liberal and Conservative governments and establish a fair fiscal
relationship to close the gap between Indigenous communities
and Canadians.

This will begin with major investments in First Nations education
and critical infrastructure, including housing.

We must not fail another generation. Secondary school
graduation rates are 53% for First Nations students on-reserve,
compared to 85% graduation rates for other Canadians. Inspired
by the Shannen’s Dream movement, we commit to closing the
education gap to ensure that every Indigenous child gets the
educational opportunities afforded to every other child in
Canada.

To give Indigenous youth the best opportunities in life, the NDP
will:

 Work with Indigenous communities through a meaningful
collaborative process to develop new education policies
and laws based on the principle of Indigenous selfgovernment;

 Make a new investment in First Nations education of $1.8
billion over the next four years to begin immediately the
work of ensuring every Indigenous child gets the
educational opportunities afforded to every other child in
Canada;

 Continue the work with annual increases over the long
term based on an escalator so that the increase to First
Nations education amounts to $4.8 billion over eight
years;

 Provide skills training by working with Indigenous
partners to renew and improve the Aboriginal Skills and
Employment Training Strategy and ensure its long-term
sustainability.

For more information on our plan, please see our platform:
http://www.ndp.ca/platform

Best regards,
Tom Mulcair
Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada