Manitoba celebrates its first new First Nations-led school system, first of its kind in Canada.

Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services was in Winnipeg today to celebrate the grand opening of the new Manitoba First Nations School System on the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.

Similar to a school district or division, the First Nations-led school system will be the first of its kind in Canada. The program aims to provide a quality education founded on “First Nations languages, histories and cultures to nurture each child’s identity and growth” for the 1,700 students at 10 participating schools.

The First Nations-designed school system is the product of the Education Governance Agreement signed by MFNERC and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in December 2016.

According to Statistics Canada, the on-reserve poverty rate for children in Manitoba currently hovers at around 75 per cent. Just 30 per cent of these kids, Statistics Canada says, will graduate high school. The new school system, however, hopes to boost outcomes by boosting spending from $8,000 to $18,000 per student.