New education subsidy to enable First Nations, Métis and Inuit adults to become teachers
Edmonton...The Government of Alberta has teamed up with Northland School Division and other northern school jurisdictions to provide a tuition and cost-of-living subsidy to support up to 40 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) adults in northern communities as they study to become teachers.
“Our goal is to increase the number of educators in Alberta with the knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary to support FNMI student success,” said Education Minister Dave Hancock. “By reducing barriers to education, we hope more members of the FNMI community will consider entering the teaching profession and in return share their knowledge of Aboriginal histories, languages and traditions with students.”
These students can engage in the Community-Based Teacher Education Program, thanks to more than $4 million in government support over the next four years.
The program will be delivered primarily by Northern Lakes College, through its two-year university transfer program, and the University of Alberta for the final two years of its Aboriginal Teacher Education Program. The first group of students will begin the program in September 2009 and will include 30 FNMI teacher candidates identified by the Northland School Division, many of whom are already working in the division as teacher support professionals.
“This teacher training program is a step in the right direction toward enhancing FNMI learner success,” said Northland School Division Corporate Board Chair, Steve Noskey. “It will achieve our dream of having more Aboriginal teachers delivering quality programs to Aboriginal children within their communities.”
Funding is available for 10 additional students from northern school divisions other than Northland. Applications are being accepted on a first-qualified, first-served basis, and all program participants will be asked to sign a four-year service agreement with their school division, which they will fulfill upon graduation.
For more information about this program, visit Alberta Education’s website at www.education.alberta.ca, click on ‘Administrators’ and then ‘Education Workforce Planning’.
This initiative supports Alberta Education’s goal to ensure Success for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Students. Alberta has the third-largest FNMI population in Canada, and government recognizes the need to develop specific strategies to meet the education needs of FNMI students. By 2017, Alberta’s FNMI population is expected to grow by 39 per cent.