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

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

You give a $300 clothing allowance here. Is that still in effect?

10:20 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

Yes, the $300 is usually graduation-centred. It's geared to help them with clothing for whenever graduation comes, because a lot of the times the students are already impoverished. Everybody would like to look lovely for graduation. I know I would.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

What are your graduation rates?

10:20 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

One year, with a combination of our nursery, kindergarten, grade 6, grade 12 and post-secondary, we had the biggest number that I've seen graduating at one time. There were about 153 students, with a combination of our kindergarten grad, our grade 6 grad and our grade 12 grad. The biggest number we had in our grade 12 grad all at once, I believe, was 32 graduates in that one year. At the beginning of the year, our school has roughly 1,100. Sometime around the middle of the year, it drops down to just under 1,000 or so.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

What would be the percentage of grade 12 students? Give me a number.

10:25 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

Do you mean the successful number?

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Yes.

10:25 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

I would say about 70% to 75%.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

That's high, if you don't mind me saying. That's success. I know you've got maybe 30% not graduating at that time, but 70 to 75% is extremely good.

For those who don't make it—let's say in that three-year period from grades 10, 11 and 12—what are you doing to bring them back, to help them if they're short a subject, for instance?

10:25 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

Normally, when students drop out, they don't try to come back to school until after they reach the age of 18 or 19. Due to the policy within the schools, we don't really like to have a mix of adults with students, so we have a lot of barriers in relation to “mature 12” programming, as well as youth STEP programming.

April 11th, 2019 / 10:25 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

Virginia Lukianchuk

Just recently—in the last few years—we've started a life skills program for students who have dropped out, to try to give them a head start as well as bring them up to par so they can go into the “mature 12”. We've actually had a few success stories where they've gone from there to college or into the meat cutting program and stuff like that.

That's a non-funded program, the life skills, but we felt we needed it to get to that population that just didn't make it to grade 12 and needed that extra hand.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

It says you have 45 day care spaces. I imagine it's jammed, or is it?

10:25 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Yes, so is it first-come, first-served? How do you deal with that? Probably you could do more, but...

10:25 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

Virginia Lukianchuk

I'm not really sure about the day care, but I think they go by the need, so are there working parents out there? We want to support the staff who are working as well if they require day care, so it wouldn't be just a stay-at-home mom taking her kid in.

As I alluded to earlier, we want to expand on maternal and child health, aboriginal head start and then day care, so that we can have those supported services for the child's early learning as they start into the school system. I think that's really important. Right now we just have the day care and the nursery. We don't have those other two components that are key in supporting the parents and the student.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Yes, that is key now and we're seeing it in a lot of urban schools. You bring in a two- or three-year-old and by the time they get to K or grade 1, they can identify the letters and the numbers. It's so important right now. I think early learning is huge, as you know, so I would encourage you to look at that.

10:25 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

Virginia Lukianchuk

We've been trying to, but we haven't been able to secure the funding in those programs through Health Canada. We've always been told, “No.” The maternal and child health was a pilot project. There were, I think, 10 or 11 first nations communities in Manitoba that were picked, and that's been it. It hasn't expanded since then. Unfortunately, even though we have over 100 babies born a year, we don't have that support in our community, which we feel is very important. We just haven't been able to get there. We haven't been able to secure the funding for that.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

You've done a pretty good job on ASETS. I was just looking at that. Skills development is often overlooked, but it shouldn't be because people who are good with their hands can get pretty good jobs right off the bat, right?

Do you want to expand on how you've worked on your aboriginal skills and employment? Who do you work with? It's all about partnerships, I would think.

10:25 a.m.

Sandy Bay First Nation

Chief Lance Roulette

Yes. We've done a lot with ACC, Red River College and the University of Manitoba in relation to trades.

As you know, in today's economy there's a huge demand for trades, whether for electricians, plumbers or carpenters. We have a group that's actually taking their level 3 carpentry, and then they'll be moving on to do their Red Seals very shortly. I believe we have about 16 students, a combination of men and women, taking that program.

We have also done the heavy equipment training, and we had 18 people take the course. We had 18 graduate. Of the 18, there was one woman who was part of that, and she was very successful in completing that program.

Being able to diversify the issue of trades once again is somewhat of a barrier on its own because the interest from either side is going to be specific to the individual. What really helped us was communication, networking as much as possible and providing clarity on both sides. A direct relationship has always been key.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

Thank you.

I think we're close to wrapping up, but we're going to this side. MP T.J. Harvey has a question.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

I just have one quick question for you, Virginia.

In your earlier testimony, you spoke about the influx of temporary foreign workers into the mainstream community, and the causal effect of that on the reduction of labourers from your community going to work in the agricultural field.

Is that something that you feel is measurable? Do you feel there's a direct correlation between the number of temporary foreign workers in that area and the ability of your people to attain those jobs?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

Virginia Lukianchuk

Definitely. The foreign workers have moved into the community. Portage la Prairie and Neepawa are where the majority of the foreign workers are. They are the ones who are securing the jobs because they live right there, whereas our people have to travel in. I believe it's had a negative impact on the number of jobs that are available for our people in those areas.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Would that be for seasonal work?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Director of Health, Sandy Bay First Nation

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Okay. That's all I wanted to follow up on. Thank you.