Broten pledges better education for First Nations and Métis kids

Education and training is the door to a brighter future – and that’s why NDP Leader Cam Broten will close the funding gap in First Nations classrooms, and significantly boost training and employment opportunities.

Children in First Nations schools are funded at about 60 per cent of the funding level for students in provincial schools. Broten was in Prince Albert Saturday, joined by NDP candidates to announce that New Democrats won’t let that stand.

“The education I want for my own daughters is what I want for all kids in Saskatchewan,” said Broten. “But right now, there are children in our province that aren’t getting a fair shot at fulfilling their potential because they’re not getting the education they deserve. That must change.”

Broten’s plan includes:

• Ending the funding disparity between children attending First Nations schools and children attending provincial schools. The new federal government has promised to do this, but recent reports have started to cast doubt on that. If they don’t step up, Broten will fill the gap by funding the schools immediately, and sending the bill to the federal government.

• Doubling Early Childhood Intervention Programs for all children.

• Expanding Adult Basic Education.

• Extending the Provincial Training Allowance to cover those taking training on First Nations reserves.

• Implementing a First Nations and Métis Employment Development Program.

• Implementing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Cam’s focus on education and training is forward-thinking,” said Lyle Whitefish, the NDP candidate for Saskatchewan Rivers, and principal of the elementary school on Big River First Nation. “Cam is committed to giving First Nations and Métis people exactly what has been asked for – opportunity, fairness and respect.”