Students urge government to take action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

By Contributor
June 4th, 2015

Students across BC are urging the federal government to take action on the 94 recommendations in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

A key recommendation of the TRC is with regards to education, including the creation and funding for new Indigenous education legislation, which protects languages and cultures, and closes the education gap for Indigenous people.

Student representatives from across BC are in Ottawa attending a meeting of the National Aboriginal Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students. The meeting agenda includes discussion on current issues facing Indigenous post-secondary students, including the gap in educational attainment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in Canada.

“Our organization has long campaigned to increase funding for post-secondary education, and specifically to increase post-secondary opportunities for Indigenous students across the country,” said Simka Marshall, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC. “The educational gap that exists for Indigenous people is a disgrace, and one that all levels of government need to work to correct starting today.”

The federal government has continuously failed Indigenous students. Funding levels for postsecondary education programs through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada have remained stagnant over the last two decades, resulting in tens of thousands of potential post-secondary students being turned away from higher education.

“Indigenous people in Canada have faced cultural genocide through a series of deliberate actions by successive governments in this country,” added Marshall. “Forced attendance at residential and day schools is just one part of that genocide, as is the continued lack of funding and action to correct the historical injustices faced by Indigenous people.”

The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of post-secondary students from 15 universities and colleges in every region in BC. Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organizations since 1927.


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