Premier Jim Prentice issued the following statement at Friday’s Alberta-First Nations Education Summit:
“All Alberta students deserve access to a good education that supports them in achieving their full potential.
“Right now, there is an unacceptable achievement gap between First Nations students and other students in Alberta. Closing this gap will help First Nations students have the same opportunities in life as other Alberta children.
“An important Treaty relationship exists between the federal government and First Nations, and Alberta has no intention of interfering with that. Our government’s goal is to work with First Nations to help close the achievement gap.
“First Nations students are Albertans too, which is why I believe that when it comes to education of First Nations children, the responsibility to get it right is shared by Alberta, First Nations parents and communities, and the Government of Canada.
“By hosting this historic summit on First Nations education, we are showing that Alberta will not sit on the sidelines. We are working with First Nations Chiefs on a made-in-Alberta vision that involves partnership between the province and First Nations Education Authorities to improve outcomes, eliminate funding and service discrepancies, and achieve a better future.
“We are also working on an approach to take to the federal government, which includes inviting the Government of Canada to take further steps to restructure the First Nations education system.
“Together, we can build a better future for First Nations students, First Nations education, and for our province as a whole.”