From the Moderator: This post from Medhat Wanes was in another discussion, so I moved it here. He is quoting from a Toronto Star article found at
"Ontario elementary schools receive on average $11,000 per student to fund their education. Schools that operate on-reserve receive approximately $6,000 per student from the federal government. This is the disparity usually highlighted in discussions about the differences between provincial and First Nations education systems. The feds do not provide funding for our libraries, computers, extracurricular activities, data management systems, native languages, principals, education directors, professional development, development of culturally appropriate curricula or special education.
Listen carefully to the elders in any one of our more than 600 First Nations communities across Canada and the message is clear: High-quality education for our children is the key to overcoming the devastating effects of a past informed by residential schools, serial reports with unmet results and an epidemic of broken promises."
The grade 11 course that the Independent Learning Centre runs on Native Studies that I did a year or two ago for the purposes of a project I was working on was quite high quality I thought. The information out there is amazing, and it's now so much more accessible. And because of Idle No More, probably, teachers, students and everyone else will become so much better educated about Aboriginal issues. I just was reading this morning a Chapter 10, probably from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples report I found on the internet about the history of Indian Industrial (Residential) schools that was excellent. I wrote a paper on this subject a few years ago when I was doing some research for the Director of Aboriginal Studies/Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives at University of Toronto. I was thinking of trying to get that paper published, but I don't know that's a priority when so much excellent information is already out there, so easy to read and access. Disturbing information for sure, but it's our responsibility as citizens, I believe, to confront it and do what we can to carve a better future for Canada and First Nations.
If we don't take some responsibility, we will be allowing negative voices and stereotyping to predominate. Another thing the Idle No More and social media have helped put the spotlight on is how hurtful and ignorant so many of the comments are from ordinary citizens on this issue.