Education Secretariat

Education Secretariat Update:

The Education Secretariat provides information, analysis and coordination as required as it relates to First Nations education to the NAN Chiefs, the NAN Chiefs Committee on Education, the NAN Education Committee, NAN Education Organizations and NAN First Nations. This includes information from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Education, Assembly of First Nations, Chiefs of Ontario and other relevant Ministries, organizations, initiatives etc. as required. The Education Secretariat undertakes mandates as provided by the NAN Chiefs in Assembly, provides information/presentations, and assists Tribal council and First Nations as requested. The Education Secretariat staff participate in the First Nations Education Coordination Unit, the High Cost Special Education Working Group, and other working committees.

Education Secretariat Program Updates:

First Nations Student Success Program:

The First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP) initiative is a proposal driven program designed to support educators on reserve in their efforts to meet students’ needs and improve student and school results.  The overall objective of the Program is to improve the achievement of First Nation students (JK to grade 12) on-reserve through the implementation of school success plans, student learning assessments, and performance measurement systems focusing on the priority areas of literacy, numeracy and student retention. In Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory there are 5 projects: Matawa First Nations Management, Mushkegowuk Council, Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Center, Sandy Lake First Nation and the NAN Partners project. Starting in 2016-2017 there will be a 6th project administered by Keewaytinook Okimikinak.

The Education Secretariat works with the NAN Partners for the administration of the First Nations Student Success Program with the member first Nations and Organizations.

Education Partnerships Program:

The Education Partnerships Program (EPP) is designed to promote collaboration between First Nations, provinces, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), and other stakeholders towards improving the success of First Nation elementary and secondary students in First Nation and provincial schools. EPP is primarily directed at First Nation students attending provincial schools.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Nishnawbe Aski Nation, the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario took place in April 2013. Following the signing enabled the submission of a Joint Implementation Plan (JIP). 

The Education Secretariat administers the Education Partnerships Program on behalf of 40 participating First Nations across Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Education Partnerships Program Resources by MOU Priority Area.


Student Support Services

  •  To develop and implement student safety and well-being measures, student transition and orientation programs, parent engagement initiatives, support mechanisms for students living away from home, student retention strategies, and involvement in extracurricular activities.
  • To develop a First Nation student anti-drug education program and other support services as may be agreed among the parties.
  1. Missing Student Protocol Guide March 2015
  2. High School Student Safety Protocol Guide March 2015 (online)
  3. Student Accommodation Provider Trainer Guide March 2014
  4. Student Accommodation Provider Guide March 2014 (online)
  5. Attendance, Retention, and First Nation Student Success March 2014
  6. Beyond the Classroom: Extracurricular Activity Strategies March 2014 (online)
  7. Student Achievement and Recognition Options Paper March 2015
  8. NAN First Nations Student Success Forum Report March 2015
  9. NAN Counselling Studies March 2015 (online):
    1. Counselling Study
    2. Counselling Program Strategies
  10. Jurisdictional Issues: First Nation Youth Mental Health and Accessing Supports March 2015
  11. Counselling Roundtable Report June 2015
  12. City Orientation Curriculum March 2014 (online)
  13. Early High School Registration FAQs and Forms March 2015 (online)
  14. Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Handbook March 2014 (online)
  15. Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Handbook Timmins March 2014
  16. Role Model Series in NAN Advocate: Celebrating Student Success March 2105



  • To enhance the inclusion and integration of First Nation history, culture, perspectives and language within the provincial curriculum as appropriate.
  • To support teaching staff in meeting the holistic learning needs of First Nation students.
  1. Life Skills and Transition Curriculum March 2015 (online)
  2. Grade 8 Summer High School Transition Program March 2015 (online)
  3. First Nations Trade School Concept Paper March 2015


Governance & Administration

  • To review appropriate involvement of First Nations in provincial board governance and advisory bodies.
  • To develop a sample tuition agreement.
  • To explore organizational options for the provision of second level services in First Nation operated schools.
  • To develop mechanisms to improve communication between provincially funded schools and First Nation feeder schools.
  1. Ontario Student Record (OSR) Guide for NAN First Nation Schools March 2014
  2. Local Education Authority Reference Document March 2014 (online):
    1. Training Scoping Study
    2. Local Education Authority Sample Terms of Reference Template
  3. Tuition Studies March 2014 (online):
    1. Tuition Scoping Study
    2. Master Tuition Agreement
  4. Special Education Supreme Court of Canada Decision Analysis March 2014
  5. Services Sharing Agreement Report & Template March 2014
  6. First Nation Municipal Agreement Template March 2014
  7. EPP Reports
    1. Conference November 2009 (online)
    2. Conference April 2011(online)
    3. Conference February 2013 (online)
    4. Forum September 2013 (online)
    5. Newsletter March 2014
    6. Forum October 2014


Human Resources

  • To develop cross-cultural training and professional development modules for educators in the provincial education system.
  • To explore the options to increase the number of First Nation staff, including participation of the elders, in provincial schools.
  • To explore mechanisms for joint professional development and exchange between personnel in First Nation and provincial education systems.
  • To support joint teacher training activities for teachers in the First Nation and provincial systems.
  1. Personnel Policy Guidelines for First Nation Schools (unpublished)
  2. Education Directors Resource Document March 2014 (online):
    1. Education Directors Professional Development Plan
    2. Second Level Services Options Paper
  3. Aboriginal Teacher Training Program Directory March 2015 (online)


Parental Participation

  • To develop strategies to facilitate improved First Nation parental communication with, and involvement in, the provincially funded schools their children attend.
  • To improve communication access for parents with students who attend school away for their home communities.
  1. Parent-Student Communication Guide March 2014 (online)
    1. English
    2. Oji-Cree
    3. Ojibway
    4. Mushkegowuk Cree
    5. Washaho Cree

Note: All resources listed are available in print. Those materials on the NAN website are indicated as (online).

Political Action:

Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox  holds the Education Portfolio for Nishnawbe Aski Nation and works directly with NAN Chiefs, organizations and First Nations in carrying out the mandates given by the Chiefs in Assembly  and requests for advocacy.

The mandates provided by the NAN Chiefs in Assembly through resolution shape the political direction, goals and objectives undertaken by the Education Secretariat.

The Chiefs in Assembly have declared their First Nations Inherent and Treaty Right to control the future of education in NAN territory and reject any legislation that will redefine and limit our jurisdiction.

In 2013, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Chiefs in Assembly adopted the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Declaration on Our Inherent and Treaty Right to Education. The intent of the declaration was to affirm that the Nishnawbe Aski Nation people are sovereign people with Inherent rights given to us by the creator. Education rights exist pursuant to both Treaties 5 and 9. The Inherent and Treaty Rights of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation people supersede all federal and provincial legislation enacted without free, prior and informed consent.

The direction has been given that NAN First Nations and citizens are the ones who will determine the education system for NAN students.

The Governance Secretariat and the Education Secretariat s have been jointly working on “The Future of Education in Nishnawbe Aski Nation” which has consisted of research and community based consultations. Work continues on the various options that will be presented to the Nishnawbe Aski Chiefs in Assembly.