Increased funding for First Nations driver education
April 16, 2013
Following Monday's release of the final report Joint Task Force on Improving Education and Employment Outcomes for First Nations and Métis People, the Government of Saskatchewan is announcing its intention to ensure driver education is available to all students who attend on-reserve high schools. Increased access to driver education removes barriers to mobility and employment opportunities, a challenge identified in the report.
"Driver education is something that should be provided to all students in our province, regardless of where they live or attend school," Education Minister Russ Marchuk said. "Our government is committed to ensuring that all Saskatchewan residents share in the success of our growing province, and that requires removing barriers to First Nations education and employment opportunities."
Driver training is already offered by some First Nations high schools. This will enable approximately 2,600 more First Nations students to take driver education. SGI will discuss funding of the additional programs with both the Federal Government and First Nations Bands.
"Increased access to driver training makes the roads safer for all Saskatchewan residents," said Minister Responsible for SGI Donna Harpauer. "This provides SGI with another opportunity to promote traffic safety with First Nations youth and helps support growth of Saskatchewan’s workforce by facilitating access to driver’s licences."
FSIN Vice Chief Simon Bird is pleased with the provincial announcement.
"This is an important issue we have been working with the provincial government on for the last two years, and we see this as a positive first step in moving forward on the recommendations of the Joint Task Force," Chief Bird said. "I agree that this funding removes a barrier to mobility and employment opportunities for First Nations youth in this territory called Saskatchewan."
SGI will be consulting with First Nations high schools in the coming months, and will assist them in implementation of the program.