Alberta Education to provide $10.5 million to Indigenous partners through pilot program

The Alberta Legislature from the front, a tree sits in the photo too. The Alberta flag waves on top of the building. Weather is partly cloudy.
The Alberta Legislature in Edmonton. File photo.
Ryan Hunt - CFWE - EdmontonAL | 20-07-2023
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Alberta Education announced on July 18th, that Indigenous education organizations will be receiving $10.5 million over three years to help strengthen the awareness and support systems that Indigenous students can access around the province.

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Education, spoke to CFWE about the program as a whole, saying that "the official purpose of the program is to help Indigenous communities and school authorities build stronger relationships together."

The pilot program will be providing most of its funding to the Alberta Native Friendship Centre's Association (ANFCA), which will distribute the funds along its Friendship Center network for things like developing Indigenous-focused school events; educating school leaders and teachers on how to strengthen communication with Indigenous students, families and communities; and improving access to transportation, tutoring, technology, and other supports and services.

Nicolaides says that the pilot program is a part of the greater effort towards reconciliation.

"My hope is the funding will go to great use, and I think it's always the right time to work towards advancing reconciliation, and promoting those stronger connections within our schools," the minister said.

ANFCA will be receiving a total of $7.5 million over the next three years, with the other $3 million being allocated for other eligible Indigenous organizations, according to the Government of Alberta's website. The recipients will all receive at least $100,000 per year to help break the barrier that stands between Indigenous children and their schools.

"I'm very hopeful that [this program] will make an important difference. One of the main purposes of the funding is to help open the door with school authorities. I'm optimistic that this funding can be used to help friendship centers and other Indigenous partners [across the province], who may be having trouble connecting with the school division, or they're not quite sure where to go, or need some additional resources to help hire additional staff to help open those doors, we can do precisely that," Nicolaides said.

Listen to the full CFWE interview with Minister Demetrios Nicolaides below: