Q&A’s

Master Education Agreement – Questions and Answers

General Questions

1. Who are the Participating First Nations that are included in the Master Education Agreement?

23 Anishinabek First Nations have signed the Master Education Agreement.  These Participating First Nations are

Aamjiwnaang First Nation

Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation

Atikameksheng Anishnawbek

Beausoliel (Chimnissing) First Nation

Biigtigong Nishnaabeg

Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek

Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation

Chippewas of Rama First Nation

Dokis First Nation

Henvey Inlet First Nation

Long Lake #58 First Nation

Magnetawan First Nation

Michipicoten First Nation

Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation

Moose Deer Point First Nation

Munsee Delaware Nation

Nipissing First Nation

Pic Mobert First Nation

Sheshegwaning First Nation

Wahnapitae First Nation

Wasauksing First Nation

Whitefish River First Nation

Zhiibaahaasing First Nation

2. How many First Nation schools and students are included?

11 of the 23 Participating First Nations operate schools on-reserve.  There are 10 elementary school programs and 2 high schools among these 11 First Nations.  There are approximately 900 students attending the on-reserve schools.

In addition, the 23 First Nations have over 1000 JK to Grade 12 students who live on-reserve and attend school off-reserve and approximately 7,400 JK to Grand 12 students who live off-reserve and attend school off-reserve.

3. What is the Anishinabek Education System (AES)?

The Anishinabek Education System was developed by and for the Anishinabek First Nations through education laws pursuant to the Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement with Canada.  This Agreement recognizes Anishinabek First Nation jurisdiction and control over education on-reserve. The AES includes the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body, Regional Education Councils and Local Education Authorities.  The AES will support the delivery of educational programs and services for Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 for the Anishinabek First Nations.

4. What is the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body (KEB)?

The Kinoomaadziwin Education Body is the central education organization established by the Participating First Nations to support the delivery of education programs and services. KEB responsibilities include:

  • receipt, administration, accountability and distribution of the education funding the First Nations will receive from Canada;
  • administration of funding agreements between itself and the First Nations;
  • establishment of policies and guidelines relating to the operation of the Anishinabek Education System (AES);
  • coordinating activities related to AES curriculum development, system-wide standards, and assessment tools, reporting mechanisms and professional development;
  • establishment and maintenance of an AES data and information system;
  • development and implementation of conditions regarding the granting of diplomas and certificates by the Anishinabek First Nations’ schools;
  • establishment and maintenance of a repository of Anishinabek First Nation education laws; and
  • central liaison with the Province of Ontario regarding education matters.

5. What is an AES Regional Education Council (REC)?

The Regional Education Councils are representative regional forums for First Nations in close geographic proximity to each other to discuss regional issues and support their coordination and delivery of education on-reserve and with adjacent School Boards.

6. What is a Local Education Authority (LEA)?

A Local Education Authority is a First Nation community-based body that has primary responsibility for the delivery of JK to Grade 12 education.  The First Nation Chief and Council are responsible for establishing the LEA, its powers, duties, functions, role and composition.  The LEA may be a board, a committee, or Chief and Council itself.

7. Why did the Anishinabek First Nations and Ontario negotiate the Master Education Agreement (MEA)?

Through the Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement between the First Nations and Canada, the Participating First Nations are establishing the Anishinabek Education System. The purpose of the MEA negotiations with Ontario is to recognize this development and establish a relationship and practical arrangements between the Anishinabek Education System and the Provincially-Funded Education System. The MEA is intended to support Anishinabek student success and well-being and facilitate the implementation and development of the new Anishinabek Education System.

8. Why did Ontario enter into negotiations of the Master Education Agreement?

The Anishinabek Nation requested Ontario to enter into the negotiations of the Master Education Agreement that would establish practical arrangements between the Anishinabek Education System and the Provincially-Funded Education System. The Master Education Agreement is intended to support Anishinabek student success and well-being and facilitate the implementation and development of the new Anishinabek Education System.

9. Who is involved in these negotiations?

The Anishinabek First Nations were represented by the Union of Ontario Indians and the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body in these negotiations. The Province of Ontario is represented by the Ministry of Education.

10. When did the negotiations between the Anishinabek Nation and Ontario start?

The negotiations of the Master Education Agreement started in January 2016. These negotiations were preceded by the negotiation of a Master Education Framework Agreement which was signed in November 2015. The Framework Agreement set out the commitment and scope of negotiations for the Master Education Agreement.

11. Will the Master Education Agreement affect First Nation treaty or aboriginal rights?

No.  The Master Education Agreement is not a treaty and will not affect Aboriginal or treaty rights. It is not treaty protected as defined under section 35 of the Constitution Act 1982.

12. What is Canada’s role in these negotiations?

 Canada is not a party to these negotiations.

13. What subjects are covered in the Master Education Agreement?

The Master Education Agreement describes the relationship between the Anishinabek Education System and the Provincially-Funded Education System and sets out commitments and areas of collaboration and action between the Participating First Nations and Ontario that will:

  • promote Anishinabek student success, well-being and transitions between and into AES schools and provincially-funded schools;
  • foster engagement and participation of student, parent, family and communities in realizing the goal of improved student success and well-being;
  • enhance collaboration between AES, Ontario and school boards, including data and information sharing; and
  • support the advancement of Anishinabek language and culture, and the knowledge of Anishinabek First Nation histories, perspectives and contributions within Anishinabek and provincially-funded schools.

14. How will the Master Education Agreement benefit the Participating First Nations?

The MEA will establish a new education relationship with the Participating First Nations and the Province of Ontario and promote greater collaboration between these First Nations and school boards.

15. How does the Master Education Agreement benefit students?

The focus of the Master Education Agreement is on supporting the success and well-being of Anishinabek students and their transition between on and off-reserve schools. The Agreement is also intended to support the advancement and learning of Anishinaabe culture, history, perspectives and language.

16. Does the Master Education Agreement cover tuition for students that live off-reserve to attend a school on-reserve?

 No, tuition for students who live off-reserve and attend on-reserve will continue to be covered by agreements between local school boards and First Nations.

17. Is Canada’s approval or recognition of the Master Education Agreement required?

No, the Master Education Agreement does not require approval or recognition from Canada.

18. Will the tuition agreements between the Anishinabek First Nations and local school boards change after the Master Education Agreement is implemented?

Tuition agreements remain the responsibility of Anishinabek First Nations and local school boards.  The Master Education Agreement anticipates there will be guidelines on tuition agreements to facilitate the negotiation of tuition agreements between First Nations and local School Boards.

19. Who will pay the tuition for on-reserve students to attend provincially-funded schools under the Anishinabek Education System?

The First Nation have the continuing responsibility to pay tuition invoices from local school boards.

20. Can First Nations join later if they have decided not to hold a ratification vote at this time?

Yes.  There were 39 Anishinabek First Nations that were part of the negotiation of the Master Education Agreement.  23 of the 39 First Nations ran a successful ratification vote.  Those First Nations that did not hold a ratification vote at this time can hold a ratification vote at a later time to join the AES.

21. When the Anishinabek Education System is established, will there be an exodus of First Nation students from provincially funded schools to First Nations schools?

No, there will not be an exodus of First Nation students from provincially funded schools to First Nations schools.

22. Will the Master Education Agreement (MEA) have an impact on current negotiations for Education Service Agreements?

No, current negotiations for Education Services (tuition) Agreements are not impacted by the MEA. The MEA will not come into effect until April 1, 2018 at the earliest. There will be guidelines on Education Services (tuition) Agreements arrangements to ensure a smooth transition to the AES and to provide direction on the negotiation of Education Services (tuition) Agreements once the MEA comes into effect.

23. Will the Master Education Agreement (MEA) have an impact on Reverse Tuition Agreements

There will be guidelines on Reverse Tuition Agreements to assist Anishinabek First Nations and School Boards in negotiating Reverse Tuition Agreements once the MEA comes into effect. Decisions about entering into Reverse Tuition Agreements will continue to be a matter dealt with between Anishinabek First Nations and local School Boards.