Special
Education

Ontario First Nations use an intervention-based approach to high-cost Special Education, whereby funding is determined by formula. A benefit of this approach is that formal assessments are not required before intervention strategies are introduced.

The federal High-Cost Special Education Program (HCSEP) covers services for students whose moderate to profound needs cannot be met through the low-cost allocation included in the Band Operated Funding Formula (BOFF).

Ontario First Nations use an intervention-based approach to high-cost Special Education, whereby funding is determined by formula. A benefit of this approach is that formal assessments are not required before intervention strategies are introduced. The federal High-Cost Special Education Program (HCSEP) covers services for students whose moderate to profound needs cannot be met through the low-cost allocation included in the Band Operated Funding Formula (BOFF).

Funding for the HCSEP is a targeted allocation, meaning that funding is a full and final allocation that can only be spent on First Nation students who ordinarily reside on reserve and are assessed by an appropriate professional as having moderate to profound special needs not met within existing education programming and services.

The Ontario First Nation Special Education Working Group (OFNSEWG) is a joint technical and advisory body of the Chiefs of Ontario and Indian Affairs established in 2005. The OFNSEWG is mandated by the First Nations Education Coordination Unit (FNECU) to provide recommendations on issues and specific strategies for political review and/or approval for action. OFNSEWG membership includes representation from:

  • Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI)
  • Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT3)
  • Independent First Nations (IFN)
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN)
  • Union of Ontario Indians (UOI)
  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Ontario Region

The OFNSEWG has been mandated through various COO Resolutions to continue to gather data for the development of recommendations on program improvements and reform. Based on these mandates, the OFNSEWG continues to collect and analyze pertinent data and work with First Nation recipients to develop ways to enhance the current funding mechanism (program, formula and funding levels).

Federal Budget 2016 implementation provides a significant increase in HCSEP funding levels from 2016-17 through 2020-21. Resolution 20/16 from June 2016 mandates the OFNSEWG to administer a needs-based process to ensure HCSEP recipients receive adequate funding levels to deliver the required special education services for First Nation students. Further, resolution 27/19 from June 2019 allows First Nations in Ontario to receive their High-Cost Special Education funding through the Interim Funding Formula (IFA) as part of their core education budget. Resolution 27/19 also states that the funding amounts outside of core (IFA) be provided to ensure that no First Nation receives less than the High-Cost special education funding received through the 2017/2018 COO High-Cost Special Education formula.

THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TECHNICIANS

What is a Special Education Support Technician (SEST)?

There are three SESTs providing support to the First Nations in Ontario. They are based out of the Kenora, Thunder Bay, and Southern Ontario. The role of the SESTs is to support and assist First Nations with:

  • effective use of HCSEP funding;
  • understanding and addressing capacity issues around Special Education;
  • collection and analysis of information related to improving the First Nations Special Education programs;
  • liaise and strengthen relationships with First Nations, Tribal Councils, Chiefs of Ontario, school boards and other organizations;
  • identifying and addressing barriers and challenges in the delivery of Special Education services;
  • support with policy development, and tuition service agreements;
  • organize Special Education Sharing Forums across Ontario;

North Eastern Region
Patricia Magiskan
416-970-0521
Patricia.Magiskan@coo.org

  • Aroland First Nation
  • Attawapiskat First Nation Bearskin Lake First Nation
  • Cat Lake First Nation
  • Constance Lake First Nation
  • Eabametoong First Nation
  • Fort Albany First Nation
  • Fort Severn First Nation
  • Fort William First Nation
  • Ginoogaming – Long Lac #77
  • Kasabonika First Nation
  • Kashechewan First Nation
  • Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek
  • Kingfisher Lake First Nation
  • Marten Falls First Nation
  • Moose Cree First Nation
  • Muskrat Dam First Nation
  • Nibinamik First Nation
  • Neskantaga – Lansdowne House
  • North Caribou Lake
  • Ojibways of Saugeen #258
  • Pays Plat First Nation
  • Red Rock First Nation
  • Sachigo First Nation
  • Sandy Lake First Nation
  • Shibogama First Nations Council
  • Taykwa Tagamou Nation (New Post)
  • Wawakapewin First Nation
  • Webequie First Nation
  • Weenusk First Nation
  • Wahgoshig – Abitibi #70
  • Whitesand First Nation
  • Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council
  • Independent First Nations Alliance
  • Northern Nishnawbe Ed Council
  • Mattagami First Nation

North Western Region
Susan Deley
807-407-6233
Susan.Deley@coo.org

  • Anishnaabe of Naongashing
  • Big Grassy First Nation
  • Couchiching First Nation
  • Deer Lake First Nation
  • Eagle Lake First Nation
  • Grassy Narrows First Nation
  • Iskatewizaagegan #39
  • Lac La Croix First Nation
  • Lac Seul First Nation
  • Keewaytinook Okimakanak
  • Keewaywin First Nation
  • Kitchenuhmaykoosib
  • Mishkeegogamang
  • Mitaanjigaming First Nation
  • Naicatchewenin First Nation
  • Naotkamegwanning
  • Nicickousemenecaning Nigigoo
  • siminikaaning
  • North Spirit Lake First Nation
  • Northwest Angle #33 First Nation
  • Animakee Wa Zhing
  • Obashkaandagang
  • Ochiichagwe’babigo’ining
  • Ojibways of Onigaming
  • Pikangikum First Nation
  • Poplar Hill First Nation
  • Rainy River First Nation
  • Seine River First Nation
  • Shoal Lake #40
  • Slate Falls First Nation
  • Wabaseemoong First Nation
  • Wabauskang First Nation
  • Wabigoon Lake Ojibway
  • Wapekeka First Nation
  • Washagamis Bay
  • Wauzhushk Onigum
  • Wunnumin First Nation

South Central Region
Patrik Lowen
519-717-0161
Patrik.Lowen@coo.org

  • Alderville First Nation
  • Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation
  • Batchewana First Nation
  • Bkejwanong
  • Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point
  • Chippewas of Nawash – Cape Croker
  • Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation
  • Chippewas of the Thames
  • Curve Lake First Nation
  • Hiawatha First Nation
  • Ketegaunseebee
  • Mattagami First Nation
  • Mississauga #8
  • Mississaugas of New Credit
  • M’Chigeeng First Nation
  • Mohawks of Akwesasne
  • Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
  • Moravian of the Thames – Delaware Nation
  • Oneida Nation of the Thames
  • Sagamok First Nation
  • Serpent River First Nation
  • Shawanaga First Nation
  • Sheguiandah First Nation
  • Six Nations of the Grand River
  • Temagami First Nation
  • Thessalon First Nation
  • Wahta Mohawk Territory
  • Wikwemikong Unceded
  • United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising/KTEI
  • Brunswick House First Nation
  • Chapleau Cree First Nation
  • Chapleau Ojibway
  • Matachewan First Nation

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Newsletters

The Chiefs of Ontario, Special Education Technicians provide a quarterly newsletter for First Nation communities and organizations to share relevant and valuable information specifically on High cost special education. Suggestions for articles are always welcome. To be featured in “Our Gifted Children” please send your story to Patrik Lowen at patrik.lowen@coo.org