October 13, 2015

What are the Parties Saying? Aboriginal Education

Canada’s student movement acknowledges and respects the rights of the first peoples of this land from coast to coast to coast. Education is a treaty right for the Indigenous people of Canada. The Canadian Federation of Students and the National Aboriginal Caucus support the alleviation of financial barriers Aboriginal students face in accessing education.

Between 2006-2011 more than 18,500 First Nations youth were denied funding due to a twenty-year 2% budget cap. With the rising costs of tuition, more and more students must compete for funding that doesn’t match increases to enrollment.

That’s why the Canadian Federation of Students and the National Aboriginal Caucus are asking for political leaders to bring about the following:

  • Remove the 2% funding cap on increases to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) to match enrollment, an estimated $418 million investment
  • Ensure that every First Nations, Inuit, and Métis learner is provided funding

The federal parties have promised the following, if elected:

Liberal Party of Canada

  • $50 million annually in additional Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) spending to effectively remove the funding cap increase on the PSSSP.

New Democratic Party

  • Remove the 2% funding cap on the PSSSP.

Conservative Party of Canada

  • Continue the 2% funding cap on the PSSSP.
  • Add an additional $12 million over three years to “Indspire” to provide scholarships, bursaries and mentorships for Aboriginal Canadians in post-secondary education.

Green Party

  • Remove the 2% annual funding on the PSSSP and work towards the elimination of tuition fees by 2020 for all domestic students

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Here is how the parties’ platforms stack up against one another, based on what students have asked for. Not happy? There’s still time to demand better.  Contact your candidates now.

Remember, political parties respond to public pressure. You can help the cause of students across the country by telling the candidates in your riding that you’ll support individuals who will make youth employment a priority.

Finally, parties respond to voters. By voting this election, you can help show the political parties that youth cannot be ignored any longer. Visit the Elections Canada student page for information on how and where to vote.

Together, we can vote for better prospects for students and a brighter future for our country.