Aboriginal Education Funding: Who’s In Control?

Authors: Alex Marshall

Disciplines: Education, Political Science and Public Administration

Themes: Activism, Economic Development, Intergovernmental Relations, International Indigenous, Tribal Governance

A budgeting decision made by a Board of Education in a school district in British Columbia, Canada helped address serious budget shortfalls in the School District but it became the basis of conflict between the school district and the Aboriginal communities. They felt the Board had not honored its commitment to support the Enhancement Agreement, a five year educational plan signed in partnership with Aboriginal communities, to improve Aboriginal student success. The Board’s decision to appropriate $44,000 of funding targeted for Aboriginal programs without consulting Aboriginal community representatives retriggered community mistrust of school systems and raised anew concerns about prejudice and racism. This case can be taught as an interrupted case with discussion at the end of Part 1 and then Part 2.