Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Jurisdiction Transfer Initiative important?

The EJTI is important to our communities because of the importance of education. Extensive studies have shown that one of the most crucial tools to deal with social and economic issues in our communities is a strong, uplifting and supportive education system. By taking control of the jurisdictional responsibility for the education of our children, we can ensure that both the content and the delivery of programs are culturally appropriate and teach the skills our children need.

How will our education funding levels be impacted?

The EJTI will secure a stable “base level” of funding that will be increased at a specified rate every year. Currently, the negotiators are also working on reinstating some of the funding that has been taken out of the local school system recently.

Does this mean building new schools in our communities?

Not necessarily — but it could. An important aspect of our childrens’ education is that they learn to integrate into society as whole, while continuing to maintain their First Nations cultural heritage and traditions; whenever possible and/or appropriate, this will continue to be a priority. For many children, there may be minimal change to how they are educated, as the central education office enters into agreement with the local school board to deliver education services on a contract basis. For some communities, however, it may be more advantageous to build separate schools at some point. The EJTI ideally provides a mechanism by which that decision – and timeframe for building it – can be made by the Central Education Office (CEO), rather than by the federal government.

Does each Chief and Council make the final decision to participate in the EJTI?

No. The EJTI affects a huge proportion of the population of each participating First Nation. Because of this impact, each community’s membership must vote on whether to participate in the EJTI. This voter’s list will include both on- and off-reserve members.

Does the Central Education Office control or affect how?the education funding reaches communities?

The Central Education Office acts as a flow-through organization, so the funds simply move from the Treasury Board, through the CEO, to each community’s education program. It also will provide contracted second level/ancillary services (psychological assessments, for example) as needed by individual education programs. 

The CEO is not funded by any portion of the First Nations’ education budget; a separate funding allocation is provided by the Treasury Board to fund the work of the CEO.

Who will make decisions on education policies?

The Board of Directors for the CEO is the primary body to create education policies. However, their direction is influenced by the collective wills of the Chief, Council and members of each community. As well, each community can choose how much of their education policy to delegate to the CEO. 

What is Own Source Revenue (OSR), and how does it impact on the EJTI?

OSR defines how the participating First Nations will contribute to self-government costs. 

The funding levels for education provided by Canada are impacted by revenues that each First Nation raises through business and investment activities, including natural resource management. However, OSR is one portion of the Final Agreement that is still being negotiated, and the Fort Frances negotiating team has identified OSR as a significant issue that needs to be addressed in a reasonable fashion before an acceptable final agreement can be reached.