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Indigenous Institutes Consortium calling for stable and equitable funding

Indigenous institutes’ post-secondary education is on the brink of collapse.

That from the Indigenous Institutes Consortium (ICC) of seven Indigenous post-secondary schools, including the Anishinabek Educational Institute.

The consortium says the province’s recent three-year, $1.3 billion funding announcement prioritizes the funding of mainstream post-secondary schools while ignoring the urgent needs of Indigenous Institutes.

Officials are calling on the government to provide stable, equitable, long-term funding of Indigenous Institutes.

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“Indigenous Institutes recognize the important role all pillars of post-secondary education provide and are deeply concerned that the third pillar of education, the Indigenous Institutes pillar, is severely underfunded hindering educational access, impeding the economic prosperity of Indigenous communities and the restricting Indigenous peoples participation in and contributions to the Ontario economy,” states a release.

With a successful graduation rate of 75-85%, officials say Indigenous Institutes serve learners who would not traditionally go to a mainstream college or university, want to learn about their culture and language and receive high quality post-secondary education where they are close to family and supports.

“Indigenous Institutes are efficient and effective and have delivered excellent results – we should not be penalized for achieving excellent results and those who run deficits are rewarded,” says the ICC.

Officials also say the funding disparity between Indigenous Institutes and publicly funded institutions highlights systemic disparities, in contradiction to international declarations such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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