Evidence of meeting #145 for Indigenous and Northern Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was education.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Lance Roulette  Sandy Bay First Nation
Virginia Lukianchuk  Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

Go ahead, Mr. Bossio.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Mike Bossio Liberal Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

I have one quick question from earlier on when I didn't have a chance to finish.

We talked about how all your teachers are from the community, and the process you went through to establish that. You also mentioned in previous testimony that you had agreements with the University of Manitoba, Red River College and Assiniboine College, to come into the community to provide that training. In the teaching case, is that what occurred there? Did they come in from U of M to train the teachers, or did the teachers go off site and come back?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

Virginia Lukianchuk

The teachers went off site and came back.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Mike Bossio Liberal Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

You said also that you have others who have done the same and come back. You have a very good retention rate, of bringing community members back to the community.

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

Virginia Lukianchuk

Yes, we have nurses, certified health care aides, administrators and our tradesmen—plumbers and electricians—who have gone off site for training and come back to the community. What we are suggesting is that if we had the training available at the community level, even a cohort of training of some sort coming to the community, we would see a larger number.

A lot of these people have families already. It's hard for them to go off the reserve. There are a lot of areas out there, and whether or not anybody believes it, there still is a lot of prejudice happening out there. We feel that to support our people, it would be good to have those services within our community.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Mike Bossio Liberal Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

I know Madam Lapointe had some questions as well.

If you'd like to, please go ahead.

April 11th, 2019 / 10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Very well, thank you very much.

Thank you to the witnesses. What you have to say is greatly interesting. I am learning a lot.

You spoke about secondary level graduation. What are the rates?

10:30 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

As I said earlier, the rate is probably around 70% of the kids within that grade 10, 11 and 12 bracket. A lot of the time, the supports that are offered through school are directly attributable to that number being as high as it is.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

How do the graduation rates in your community compare to those of other first nation communities in Manitoba? Is there a difference in the figures?

10:30 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

I believe there would be a difference in the numbers, once again, just getting back to whatever each first nation is doing...if some are under a school division versus ones that have local control.

What we have noticed is that the ones that are more under a school division don't have that direct cultural piece, not only for general understanding of certain course material but also the supports that the elders provide, what some of the mentors and their facilitators provide to these students.

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Thank you.

You referred to the student capacity of your schools. By what percentage do we need to increase capacity in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools?

10:35 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

I think because the issue of capacity is always identified as a growing set of skills, the gauge on what level of capacity we require at Sandy Bay and also education for other schools is going to be specific to each community. However, with the cost of living and the increase of professional fees, that number has yet to be determined. I'm pretty sure it is going to be a pretty high percentage to identify from a first nations school to a provincial-level school.

Some of the barriers that we encounter, especially in the areas of funding, are the collective bargaining agreements that we have within our community. We have two collective bargaining agreements, which are The Manitoba Teachers' Society and MGEU. The negotiations from there really hinder what financial capacities we can ensure towards instructional services, towards programming within our own schools. It really does impede our ability to guarantee certain programming as a result of collective bargaining agreements that we currently have.

If you have any suggestions for us and or any advice that we could utilize to deal with these unions, we definitely have an open ear for it. I have always said—and I have no rudeness intended to the unions—they will, one of these days soon, be the death of the community.

10:35 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

Virginia Lukianchuk

I want to add too that we're looking at succession planning, as a lot of our staff who have been trained in those areas are getting ready for retirement. It's good that we're talking about capacity, because we want to build that capacity so that we're keeping the tradition alive within that capacity.

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

That concludes our time.

Thank you very much.

Thank you very much for coming to Ottawa to present to us. I think you provided new insights and explained your challenges very well. We appreciate it.

Meegwetch. Safe travels home.

The meeting is adjourned.