Tyrone McNeil, chair of the First Nations Education Steering Committee, says he appreciates the chance to work with the BC government on a groundbreaking initiative.
“Helping First Nations to certify and regulate teachers in their own schools is essential to exercising their jurisdiction,” McNeil said.
First Nations have been striving to advance competence in education for more than 20 years, and teacher certification and regulation is one of the key elements of competence, according to a statement.
The changes announced on Monday were developed in collaboration with the First Nations Education Steering Committee, under the leadership of the First Nations engaged in the initiative.
“The BC First Nations Education Jurisdiction Initiative, including our ability to certify and regulate teachers who we know are the right fit for our schools and students, faithfully reflects First Nations control over First Nations education – which we have been advancing for decades. Said Hugh Braker of the Tseshaht First Nation, one of the negotiators for the initiative.
This legislation will change the composition of the British Columbia Teachers’ Council, whose responsibilities include certification, conduct and standards of competence for holders of a provincial teaching certificate. The changes will ensure representation on the board by the First Nations Education Authority.
The legislative changes will amend the First Nations Education Act, the Teachers Act and the Criminal Records Review Act.
For legislative changes, visit Government of British Columbia website.