Current Problems

Education (6-12)

FNTI expresses concern about lack of resources to help Indigenous students

October 16, 2023

NationTalk: A local school is speaking out about the state of learning involving Indigenous students.

More information is provided below:

As students across the country head back to school this fall, Indigenous learners will not have equitable access to the personal, professional, and community benefits because Indigenous-led institutions do not have adequate resources. This further perpetuates existing cycles of inequity among Indigenous students, and within the communities who rely on their education.

“Indigenous students continue to fall behind because our schools don’t have appropriate resources to deliver programming,” says Suzanne Brant, President of FNTI. “We have folks who are deeply keen to learn and advance their careers but have no spaces to teach them. This year alone, we were able to seat 299 students, but received 862 applications.”

Educational systems have historically served as the primary means of assimilation for Indigenous peoples in Canada. This has resulted in mainstream institutions being isolating, inaccessible, and insufficient in meeting the needs of Indigenous learners and their communities.

At the same time, Indigenous-led institutions lack the resources and facilities standard in their mainstream counterparts across the country, further preventing Indigenous students from accessing transformative educational opportunities that support the prosperity of students and their communities.

Like the majority of Indigenous institutions in Canada, FNTI’s 2022-23 Annual Report found that their ability to meet the demand of students interested in learning is critically limited by their existing financial capacity and inadequate infrastructure. This means that Indigenous students from communities across the country will be unable to access educational and career opportunities.

“We know our programs offer transformative personal and professional opportunities for our students, and also that Indigenous communities across the country need their skills,” says Brant. “Like many institutions, we are prepared and eager to educate the next generation of Indigenous learners, and simply cannot because of these constraints.”

FNTI is calling on the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to provide Indigenous students and institutes with the resources they desperately need. This support is critical to true reconciliation, enabling communities to enact sovereignty over their own future.

About FNTI

FNTI is an Indigenous-owned and governed First Nations institute. This post-secondary institute has 35 years of rich history delivering programming rooted in culture and Indigenous ways of knowing.  
Our community-driven approach coupled with our intense program delivery method allow our Indigenous learners to maintain connections to family and community while they study and prepare for their future careers.
FNTI is a not-for-profit, registered charitable organization, accredited by the Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council (IAESC) and the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). FNTI has over 4,000 graduates with certificate, diploma and degree credentials issued in partnership with recognized Ontario colleges and universities. The Institute is developing standalone programs in accordance with the Indigenous Institutes Act, 2017.