Mandate 2021

The Anishinabek Nation Education Secretariat has a mandate to assist and support all 39 Anishinabek Nation First Nations on a broad range of education issues including early childhood, elementary, secondary, post-secondary, lifelong learning and special education. The Education Secretariat is also a key support for the Anishinabek Nation Chiefs Committee on Education.

Anishinabek Nation Chiefs Committee on Education

The mandate of the Anishinabek Nation Chiefs Committee on Education (Anishinabek Nation CCoED) is to direct the Anishinabek Nation Education Secretariat by providing advice, strategic planning assistance and recommendations to assist in all areas of the secretariat’s responsibility.

The Anishinabek Nation CCoED is made up of representatives of each of the four (4) regions.

Technical Committees

Chiefs of Ontario First Nations Education Coordination Unit

The First Nation Education Coordination Unit (FNECU) is a technical and advisory body operating under the umbrella of the Chiefs of Ontario to address lifelong educational priorities. It is comprised of the Education Directors of the four Provincial Territorial Organizations (PTOs) and one representative from the Independent First Nations. Additional seats are reserved for established regional Indigenous Education Organizations. Currently, these seats are held by the Anishinaabek, Mushkegowk and Onkwehon:we Language Commission of Oniatari’:io (AMO), the Indigenous Institutes Consortium (IIC), and the Ontario First Nations Young Peoples Council (OFNYPC).  The FNECU is supported and coordinated through the Chiefs of Ontario office by the Director of Education.

The Education Coordination Unit is currently engaged in a number of ongoing projects and initiatives related to special education, elementary and secondary education, post-secondary education and training and language revitalization. The primary objective is to identify and enact initiatives that will result in delivering sustainable, equitable First Nation education systems under full First Nations jurisdiction.

Contact: Mindy Taylor, Interim Director of Education & Paige Sillaby, Education Policy Analyst



Ontario Technical Table – Interim Funding Approach 

The Ontario Technical Table – Interim Funding Approach (OTTIFA) is a joint technical table comprised of members of the FNECU, Chiefs of Ontario and Indigenous Service Canada (ISC). The OTTIFA is an ad hoc committee that has a mandate to continue discussions on the development, implementation and ongoing evaluation of Ontario’s interim funding formula as it pertains to provincial funding comparability for First Nations K-12 education.

Contact: Mindy Taylor, Interim Director of Education & Paige Sillaby, Education Policy Analyst

Links: Policy Proposal – Transforming First Nations Elementary and Secondary Education


Ontario First Nation Special Education Working Group

The Ontario First Nation Special Education Working Group (OFNSEWG) was established in 2005, as a sub-committee of the FNECU. The OFNSEWG is comprised of FNECU members, as well as senior officers from Indigenous Services Canada (formerly known as Indian Affairs). The OFNSEWG has a mandate to gather data for the development of recommendations on improvements and reform, as it relates to the High Cost Special Education Program (HCSEP). In addition, the OFNSEWG administers a needs-based process, to ensure HCSEP recipients receive equitable levels of funding to deliver the required special education services for First Nation students in Ontario.

Contact: Mindy Taylor, Interim Director of Education & Paige Sillaby, Education Policy Analyst



First Nations Lifelong Learning Table

The First Nation Lifelong Learning Table (FNLLT) was formed in 2016 to create a forum for Ontario First Nations and the Province (Ministry of Education) to build a stronger working relationships and identify, prioritize, discuss and work to address issues and opportunities related to the provincial education sector.

The FNLLT prioritizes tasks that align with the five priority areas:  relationships; languages & culture; curriculum; information, access & accountability; and policy development.

Contact: Natasha George, Lifelong Learning Coordinator


Reciprocal Education Approach (REA) October 2020 – Webinar Q&As

Reciprocal Education Approach (REA) FAQs

How to participate in the REA – Information for Parents, Guardians and Students


Indigenous Institutes Consortium

The Indigenous Institutes Consortium (IIC) addresses the collective issues impacting post-secondary Indigenous education in Ontario. Today, the Indigenous Institutes Consortium (formerly the Aboriginal Institutes Consortium) represents seven Indigenous-owned and controlled education and training institutions across Ontario, working collectively to secure adequate resources to support the development and to promote the recognition and success of member institutes.

Contact: Mindy Taylor, Interim Director of Education


Indigenous Institutes Act, 2017


Youth Life Promotion Initiative (schools)

In collaboration with the Anishinabek Nation Social Development Department, the Education Secretariat provides coordination and administrative support for the Youth Life Promotion (YLP) initiative. Since 2017, the YLP initiative (school based) has enabled the hiring of Indigenous mental health and addictions workers and/ or the provision of other mental health supports for students in 24 Anishinabek schools.

Contact: Paige Sillaby, Education Policy Analyst



Post Secondary Education Engagement Process

On June 18, 2019, the federal cabinet approved the First Nations Post-Secondary Education Policy Proposal. The policy proposal was co-developed by the Assembly of First Nations, National Indian Education Council, and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). While the approval did not increase funding for post-secondary education (PSE) under Budget 2019, it confirmed support for First Nations-led Treaty-based and/or regional based processes to develop models that will best support First Nations PSE.

Starting in 2019-20 there is 2.5 M / year for 3 years allocated nationally to support First Nations PSE engagement, however funding did not reach Ontario PTO’s, IFN’s and IIC until October of 2020.  The goal of exploratory discussions and engagement is to support First Nations in their development of comprehensive and integrated First Nations post-secondary education regional models for PSE engagement.

The Anishinabek Nation (AN) Education Secretariat, in partnership with Kinoomaadziwin Education Body (KEB), are coordinating First Nations Post-Secondary Education engagement on behalf of the 39 Anishinabek Nation communities. The AN/KEB PSE engagement will focus on opportunities and challenges within the current Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP). Engagement will be via surveys, focus groups and information sessions.  All input collected will be summarized and sent to the Chiefs of Ontario, Education Department for Ontario Regional roll up.

Contact: Jacinta Shawanda, Post-Secondary Engagement Coordinator

Policy Proposal – First Nations Post-Secondary Education

Engagement Toward The Development Of First Nations Regional Post-Secondary Education Models – National Guidelines 2019-2020

First Nations Post-Secondary Education Review