Editorial: Encouraging hope in First Nations communities

Akisqnuk First Nation councillor Marguerite Cooper believes schools are underestimating the abilities of First Nations students

According to a Fraser Institute study released on August 7th, more than 60 per cent of First Nation people aged 20 to 24 haven’t completed high school compared to 13 per cent of all other Canadians.  Yet, the study,  Myths and Realities of First Nations Education, found federal funding for First Nations education grew from $1.3 billion to more than $1.5 billion. If funding is increasing, and the problems remain, what can be done to improve First Nations education?

Akisqnuk First Nation councillor Marguerite Cooper believes schools are underestimating the abilities of First Nations students, and when a student does perform exceptionally well, there is a complete lack of family and community support for their efforts.  And if ongoing prejudice against Aboriginals in the workforce means job prospects are slim to none, motivation to finish school and go on to post-secondary training or study is understandably hard to come by.

The conditions of Aboriginals across Canada vary greatly, but countless oppressive forces continue to burden many people and communities. The recent murder of Tina Fontaine, the 15-year-old aboriginal girl whose death has prompted renewed calls across the country for a public inquiry into the disproportionate number of missing and murdered aboriginal women, is a tragic example.

The federal government is taking a huge stride in the right direction by inviting discussion at the grassroots level on the barriers aboriginal people face and how to bridge the gaps. More of these sessions need to take place, and more often. The success of this recent roundtable should be enough incentive to strike a tri-cultural committee for the valley that continues to explore community partnerships, seeing as the Regional District of East Kootenay’s Columbia Valley Directors Committee is woefully lacking a First Nations narrative despite the Shuswap and Akisqnuk being economic players in the region.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read