Mattawa First Nations seeking $25M to reopen its schools

Source: 
APTN News (Canada)
Pub Date: 
Saturday, July 25, 2020 - 05:29

is estimating it will cost an additional $25 million to safely and adequately reopen schools after months of living under restrictions because of COVID-19.

The Nations said it released a plan on Thursday because of a lack of pandemic money from the province of Ontario.

require funding envelopes being made available so that—just like every other parent in Ontario—parents from First Nations can also be assured that their children will be safe to send to school,” said the release.

The northern Ontario, James Bay, Cree and Ojibway nations first expressed concern in early July.

They decided during a virtual Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN) special meeting on education in June that an adequate amount of money was not available to provide quality education while ensuring a safe environment for students in communities.

As students will be returning to school in a little over a month, Matawa chiefs say urgent supplementary funding is needed to provide services during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said he wants children to return to school full time in the fall.

While school boards across the province are saying they need more money Ontario’s education minister, Stephen Lecce, plans to reveal his school re-opening plan next week.

“We are preparing for all scenarios to ensure whatever challenge emerges in the fall, Ontario is ready to keep students learning,” said a statement from Lecce’s office.