Province to launch Indigenous education pilot program

The Government of Alberta is pledging over $10 million for a new Indigenous education pilot program.

The three-year project called Bridging Classrooms to Communities aims to improve education outcomes and opportunities for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.

The funds will be used to create welcoming environments in schools, demonstrate cultural awareness, and provide system support to help Indigenous students achieve success both inside and outside the classroom.

The pilot will also provide funding to Indigenous partners, such as the Alberta Native Friendship Centers Association (ANFCA) to help build relationships with local school authorities.

“This is an important step forward in advancing reconciliation, this small but important step will help bring Indigenous communities and school authorities closer together,” says Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta’s Minister of Education.

ANFCA will receive $7.5 million to distribute to friendship centres within their network. The remaining $3 million is earmarked for eligible Indigenous organizations to support community connection projects across Alberta’s urban and rural areas.

“With this support from Alberta Education, friendship centres are able to weave Indigenous knowledge and culturally responsive educational supports to increase positive learning environments and urban Indigenous students’ academic and future success,” says Len Morissette, President of the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association.

Grant applications will open later this summer and successful applicants will receive funding in the fall.

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