John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development made an announcement related to First Nations education in British Columbia at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec, January 27, 2012.
Credits: Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency
"We can expect further measures in all regions and jurisdictions," John Duncan said Friday.
The federal government, British Columbia and First Nations reached what they're calling a "historic education deal" to provide First Nation students with access to quality education.
"I am pleased to announce that working in partnership with First Nations and the province of British Columbia, First Nation students will have the necessary tools to succeed," Duncan said.
In December, the Senate committee on aboriginal peoples called for a complete overhaul of Canada's First Nations education system because reserve schools frequently operate in "crisis."
The committee's report, titled Reforming First Nations Education: From Crisis to Hope, says reserve schools operate in isolation without the necessary support.
It also calls for a First Nations Education Act to establish legal power for educational authorities that would be accountable to parents and communities.
"We thank the Senate committee for their report. We think their recommendations are helpful," Duncan said.
"Of course, there is more to do."
Another report, commissioned by the government and the Assembly of First Nations, is set to be released soon. A joint panel is looking at options -- including legislation -- to improve elementary and secondary education outcomes for children on reserves.
Experts say reforming reserve education is a particularly complex issue because education was used to undermine Native culture in the past.
Canada's residential school system -- a government-funded assimilation program -- was in place for 130 years.