Role and responsibility of the province
Through the Indigenous Education Strategy, the Ministry of Education is committed to improving Indigenous education in Ontario, improving student achievement and well-being, and closing the achievement gap between Indigenous students and all students. This strategy has been designed to improve opportunities for First Nation, Métis and Inuit students, to increase the knowledge and awareness of all students about Indigenous histories, cultures and perspectives.
The government is also committed to continuing to build positive relationships with Ontario First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples and working in a spirit of mutual respect through all interactions. Strong partnerships between the ministry, school boards, schools, educators, families, students, community organizations and Indigenous partners are essential. The ministry will continue to make investments in Indigenous education to improve student achievement and well-being.
Rethink how things are done – revising internal processes
In June 2014, the Political Confederacy was mandated by the Chiefs in Assembly to establish a political task force that would develop a strategic plan to promote a new relationship with province of Ontario. This mandate is captured in Resolution 14/30: Advancing a Defined Political Strategy with the Ontario Premier and Cabinet.
In response to the Chiefs in Assembly’s mandate, the Political Confederacy advanced a proposal with the Premier of Ontario that called for the establishment of a Political Accord. This Accord would affirm Ontario’s commitment to working within a government-to-government relationship and would further frame our joint priorities and actions.
Discussions between the Ministry of Education and the Chiefs of Ontario on First Nations engagement on education resulted in the creation of the First Nation Education Strategy, supported by the establishment of the First Nations Lifelong Learning Table.
Role and responsibility of First Nations
The Ontario Regional Chief (ORC) works very closely with the Political Confederacy to advance and advocate on First Nations priorities. The ORC has no inherent authority and is selected by and accountable to the 133 elected Chiefs in Ontario. The ORC serves as the principle link between COO and the Assembly of First Nations. The ORC plays in integral role in the FNLLT as a member of the Steering Committee, which provides overall advice and direction on the implementation of the strategic plan and makes decisions at key points as required.
The COO Education Portfolio holder is appointed by the Political Confederacy to serve as a link between technical and political committees. The Portfolio is accountable to the PC. The Portfolio holder chairs meetings, provides leadership, meets with federal and provincial political representatives, reviews communication, provide oversight on resolution development and implementation. The Portfolio plays in integral role in the FNLLT as member of the Steering Committee, which provides overall advice and direction on the implementation of the strategic plan and makes decisions at key points as required.
The Chiefs Committee on Lifelong Learning (CCOLL) is mandated by the Chiefs in Assembly to provide political direction, advice and recommendations to the Political Confederacy, the Chiefs-in-Assembly and the AFN Chiefs Committee on Education (CCOE) on lifelong learning issues for First Nations in Ontario. The CCOLL plays in integral role in the FNLLT as a significant component of the Steering Committee, which provides overall advice and direction on the implementation of the strategic plan and makes decisions at key points as required.
The First Nations Education Coordination Unit (FNECU) is a technical and advisory body operating under the umbrella of the Chiefs of Ontario. The FNECU is mandated by the Chiefs in Assembly to focus on education issues impacting First Nations people and First Nations communities including pre-school, elementary school, secondary school, post-secondary school and training. Furthermore, the FNECU is mandated to support First Nation communities, develop strategies and position papers, facilitate engagement, share information, and make recommendations to the COO Education Portfolio holder, and the Chiefs Committee on Lifelong Learning. The FNECU carries forward this role as a significant component of the CPPC.
Education staff at the COO Secretariat are bound to follow Assembly resolutions, as interpreted by the PC. The general mandate of the Secretariat is to work in support of the ORC and the PC and make all technical preparations for Assemblies and PC meetings.