Liberal Party pledges funding for First Nations education

Liberal candidate Larry Bagnell says Leader Justin Trudeau's commitment on Thursday to fund First Nations education will have an impact in the Yukon.

Liberal candidate Larry Bagnell says Leader Justin Trudeau’s commitment on Thursday to fund First Nations education will have an impact in the Yukon.

Trudeau announced that a Liberal government would invest $2.6 billion in First Nations education over the next four years and $500 million in First Nations education infrastructure over the next three years.

The party has also pledged an additional $50 million in annual support to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program, which provides financial assistance to indigenous students in post-secondary education.

Bagnell said the funding for education infrastructure and post-secondary education will be available to Yukon First Nations. However, the $2.6 billion for First Nations education is earmarked for on-reserve schools, which won’t apply to the territory.

Bagnell said many Yukon First Nations have asked him about increasing funding for post-secondary education, because “more and more First Nations students are getting to that level.”

He also said he wants to see more investment in First Nations language and culture programming.

“I think education is a really important starting point,” he said. “I think it’s essential for success in a lot of things in life.”

The Conservative government has pledged $1 billion over five years for First Nations education and $500 million over seven years for First Nations school infrastructure starting in 2015-16.

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