Minister Philpott Attends Grand Opening of the Manitoba First Nations School System

News Release

October 11, 2017 - Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Manitoba - Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, along with representatives of the Manitoba First Nation Education Resource Centre, celebrated the grand opening of the new Manitoba First Nations School System.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Minister Philpott alongside dignitaries, including the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, at the Sergeant Tommy Prince School in Brokenhead Ojibway Nation. The event was followed by a traditional ceremony and community feast.

The new school system is a First Nations-led education transformation initiative. It will assist First Nations schools to address the quality of education through culturally-relevant programming to improve student outcomes including student retention, completion and graduation rates.

The school system is the result of the Education Governance Agreement that was reached in December 2016, through a collaborative approach between the participating First Nations, the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre and the Government of Canada.


“It is a privilege to be a part of this celebration today, and in true partnership toward self-governance in education. This milestone reflects the vision of so many Manitoba First Nations leaders long ago – that is, to provide Indigenous-led, culturally relevant education programs. Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre should be proud of advancing Indigenous teachings and supporting a vibrant learning environment that fosters cultural identity for their students.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott,
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Based on our mandate from First Nations leaders in Manitoba, our organization will continue to work with First Nations to develop a supportive school system that will enable our children and grandchildren to achieve their dreams and visions.  As stated by our visionary First Nations leaders in Wahbung, 1971 - we believe in education, and through education, our young people can acquire the tools they need to succeed in life.”

Lorne C. Keeper, Executive Director
Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre

Quick Facts

  • This new First Nations school system will benefit 10 First Nations schools with approximately 1,700 students, and will help support their goals for a quality education system.

  • More than 46 years ago First Nation leadership in Manitoba, through a shared vision entitled “Wahbung: Our Tomorrows”, signaled the need to establish First Nation controlled education systems in Manitoba.

  • The Manitoba First Nations School System is supported by a new funding model with enhanced funding for Indigenous languages, culture and programming to foster academic achievement. It is the first of its kind in Canada.

  • The new funding model is more flexible and allows for more comparable salaries, new technology and enhanced support services for students and teachers.

  • Other First Nations may join the school system as it evolves.

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Andrew MacKendrick
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott

INAC Media Relations

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