Perspectives on Local Control of Education With a Future Orientation: A View From First Nations


  • Seth Agbo



In 1972 the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB) issued a landmark document, Indian Control of Indian Education that brought a new beginning to First Nations education throughout Canada. There has been a remarkable increase in First Nations-controlled schools since 1975. This paper traces the historical background of the Canadian government's education policy for First Nations and uses a First Nations reserve community as a point of reference to examine First Nations' viewpoints on local control of schooling and how to mobilize for the solution of problems concerning school governance. The paper addresses the following specific issues: (a) powers the government of Canada bestows on First Nations in the control of their school system, (b) powers community people perceive they possess in the control of education, (c) the actual structures that the community employs in the control of education, and (d) First Nations top priority needs in school governance and suggested specific strategies for dealing with each of the priority needs.