Memorandum of Understanding for First Nations Education in Alberta

On 24 February 2010, the MoU for First Nations Education in Alberta was signed by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Alberta Education, and Treaty 6, 7, and 8 Chiefs. This MoU is designed to develop partnerships to enable all students in Alberta, specifically First Nation students to achieve or exceed Alberta Education learner outcomes. This is an opportunity for educational improvement and for First Nations to exercise their Treaty Right to Education.

The Preamble of the MoU

  • Individual autonomy of First Nations is recognized;
  • Commitments to work on a government to government basis;
  • The right to education is inherent and “Indian Control of Indian Education” (1972) is supported;
  • Strong emphasis on life-long learning, including cultural and language;
  • Importance to preserve, support and revitalize language and culture;
  • Improvement of monitoring and reporting and accountability;
  • Emphasis that all First Nations learners will meet the educational outcomes and levels of success;
  • Improvement of services and quality of education for all First Nation students;
  • Remedying barriers and creating opportunities for First Nation learners to achieve or exceed the full educational outcomes, levels and successes of all other learners in Alberta.

Vision of the MoU

“Canada, Alberta and the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs in Alberta hold a common vision for First Nations students in Alberta where First Nations students are achieving or exceeding the full educational outcomes, levels and successes of all other students in Alberta.”

Guiding Principles of the MoU

  • Working collaboratively and expeditiously
  • Recognizing the cultural, language, traditions and spiritual practices of First Nations people and the need for standards-based and culturally relevant education
  • Equitable access to quality education
  • Achieve comparable standards between First Nations and provincial educational systems
  • Enhance governance, policy, program and accountability
  • Empower and engage parents and community members
  • Maximize effectiveness of current initiatives
  • Promote capacity building

Commitments of the MoU

  1. Treaty No. 6, Treaty No. 7, Treaty No. 8 Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre (IKWC)
  2. Education Improvement and Resourcing
  3. Comparative Funding Analysis
  4. Education Programs and Services Analysis
  5. Review of Legislation and Policies
  6. Tuition/Education Service Agreements
  7. Develop Long-Term Strategic Action Plans
  8. Accountability and Performance Management
  9. Relationship Building
  10. First Nation Children in Care, Special Education and School-Aged Children not in School
  11. Parental and Community Engagement
  12. Recruitment, Retention, and Professional Development of Teachers
  13. Treaty and Cultural Awareness
  14. Holistic Approach to Education
  15. Establishment of the Albert First Nations Education Circle

Alberta First Nations Education Circle Meeting

A meeting was held on 27 July 2010 where four commitments from the MoU were identified as immediate priorities for implementation:

  • IKWC
  • Funding Analysis
  • Tuition Agreements
  • Data Sharing Protocols

Next Steps

In order to meet the identified commitments, four sub working groups will be established. If you are interested in sitting on one of these committees, or know of someone in our community who should be nominated to participate on these committees, please contact the school.

Once the committees are selected, meetings will commence and work plans will be established.

For more information about the Memorandum of Understanding, please visit the following websites:

Electronic Copy of the MoU:

Alberta Education’s MoU Website:

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s MoU Website: