Ottawa divvies up First Nations school funds, targets needy, remote reserves

OTTAWA – The federal government has decided how it will spend the $275 million it has budgeted to improve First Nations education.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan says part of the money will go towards building three new schools on reserves this year and renovating five others in the years to come.

The new schools are to be built in the some of the country’s neediest communities, in Pikangikum and Fort Severn in Northern Ontario, as well as Shamattawa in Manitoba.

Part of the money will go towards “bundling” together the construction work in the hope of achieving some economies of scale.

And another part of the funding will go to proposals that help native bands build the expertise they need to eventually take control of their education systems.