Provincial Education

Minister:Joan Ledoux
Associate Minister: David Beaudin

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), Provincial Education continued with its reorganization of the Department affirming its commitment to restructure the department to facilitate the creation of a province-wide strategy on education. The goal was to ensure that support was provided to Métis students at all levels of education beginning with K-12 right through to post-secondary education.

Post-Secondary Education

The Manitoba Métis Nation and the Government of Canada signed the Canada-Metis Nation Accord, through which the MMF is investing $90 million over the next ten years in support of Métis post-secondary education in Manitoba. They are striving to close the post-secondary education (PSE) attainment gaps between Métis students and the non-Indigenous Canadians through multi-level delivery of a wide range of supports. This plan, will contribute to the success of students and contribute to the broader strategic outcomes of self-government and self-determination. This multi-layered approach of providing supports aid in the delivery of programs, strengthening education, social and economic outcomes and contribute to life-long learning for Métis students.

The Post-Secondary Education Support Program Working Group Committee continued to provide oversight and had the responsibility to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the department.

Post-Secondary Education Financial Support System (PSESP)

The Provincial Education launched the third PSESP online application in July, 2021. A PSESP Selection Review Sub-Committee and Appeals Sub-Committee have been put in place for application approvals. In 2019/2020 we were pleased to report that 671 students completed their applications online. Within three days of launching approximately 300 students had completed their application online. It is anticipated that the final number for 2020/2021 will be greater than the previous year. Students who are approved for funding must complete the Metis 101 online course before funds are released.

Partnerships and MOUs with Post-Secondary Institutions

The MMF and the University of Winnipeg (U of W) signed a ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in January 2018. In 2019-2020, the U of W prepared a research report on Early Development Instrument (EDI) and Metis education, which showed that, while Manitoba generally fairs poorer than the rest of Canada with respect to EDI scores, Métis children continue to fare worse than other children in the province, with over one-third of Métis children developmentally vulnerable. This translates into a lower educational outcome for Métis students. Further research is being done focussing on increasing tutoring resources and the department plans to develop educational centres in each region to provide increasing supports for Métis students.

Another level of support is at the university level. The MMF has partnered with the University of Manitoba (U of M) to have a Métis Inclusion Coordinator on campus to ensure Métis students have access to Métis-specific programming, resources and events being held on campus. As well, the MMF Provincial Education continues to work on partnerships with post-secondary institutions to develop academic supports to ensure Metis students' success in their academic studies. MOUs and partnerships with other post-secondary institutions are currently also being pursued.

Financial Aid and Awards

On behalf of the MMF Provincial Education Department, the LRI, in partnership with post-secondary institutions, administered the Louis Riel Bursary (LRB) endowment. The LRB Endowment Fund is currently at $25 million. Other bursaries provided by the MMF are; the Mary Guilbeault Métis Bursary, the Vickar Community Chevrolet Métis Student Award, the Audreen Hourie Indigenous Governance Graduate Fellowship and the Senator Gerry and Margaret St. Germain Bursary. Table 2 found at the end of the report shows the LRB endowment statistics for

Table 1: 2020/2021 PSESO applications update - As of March 31, 2-21

2020-2021 Post-Secondary Education Support Program

2020/2021 PSESP Intake Update ($5000)

March 31, 2021

Total Eligibility Forms Initiated:

1,391

Total Eligibility Forms Not submitted

323

Total Applications Completed and Awarded:

873

Total Applications Submitted for Payment:

873

K-12 Education

In June 2019, the MMF Provincial Education Department made a submission to Manitoba's Commission on K-12 Education. Recommendations to improve the education of Métis students in K-12 and to promote the awareness of Métis people, culture, and history in Manitoba for all students. Recommendations included:

  1. to use the MMF/U of W research on educational outcomes to guide interventions for Métis students.

  1. cease the pan-Indigenous approach to education and focus on approaches that are more distinction-based for Métis students.

  1. mandatory professional development for Manitoba teachers on Métis perspectives

  1. mandatory Métis content in the curriculum from K-12.

  1. consultations between the provincial government and the MMF

  1. accountability from the provincial government with regard to the Aboriginal Academic Achievement Grant that they receive from the federal government.

  1. support from the provincial government for programs that support Métis student success.

In February 2020, the MMF Provincial Education Department conducted a consultation conference called, "Creating Our Own Future." The focus of the conference was on the needs of the students and plans for moving forward for the K-12 education. Over 80 professional educators attended the conference to learn more about Métis education. Topics of discussion included the state of education, current issues, best practices, curriculum, Métis identity, how we engage students, and post-secondary preparation. Recommendations were developed, including a comprehensive consultation with the Regions. The consultations continue via virtual technology despite the interruption of COVID-19 related set-backs.

Blueprint for Indigenous Education Steering Committee

The Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint was signed in December 2015. The steering committee is composed of representatives from all ten of Manitoba's post-secondary institutions (University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, University College of the North, Assiniboine Community College, Red River College, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Université de St. Boniface, and Canadian Mennonite University), as well as the Manitoba School Boards Association, Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools, the Manitoba Metis Federation Provincial Education, Manitoba Inuit Association and the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre. The Blueprint is an initiative that commits to making excellence in Indigenous post-secondary education a priority.

Frontier School Division

In September 2020, the MMF Provincial Education Department reached out to Reg Klassen, Chief Superintendent of the Frontier School Division (FSD) to discuss ways to improve educational outcomes for Métis students. Meetings and other forms of communication were undertaken between September through December 2020. The relationship between FSD and the Department has been and remains positive, with discussions on a variety of topics related to supporting Métis students in K-12. During the meetings, Provincial Education staff reiterated the department's vision for Métis education: Improving outcomes for K-12 students; providing financial and academic supports to post-secondary students; and the creation of Educational Hubs in each of the seven regions to ensure a presence in each Region and to respond to local strengths and needs.

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