Funding to get First Nations kids back to school safely inadequate, critics say



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© Provided by The Canadian Press


THUNDER BAY, Ont. — The federal government is under fire for what critics say has been a delayed response in getting back-to-school funding to First Nations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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On Wednesday, Ottawa announced up to $2 billion in back-to-school funding for provinces and territories, and another $112 million specifically for on-reserve schools.

The announcement came after Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 Ontario First Nations, released a number of public statements accusing the government of dragging its feet on the issue.

Last week, NAN said the government had rejected its request for $33 million in funding, designed to get its nearly 9,000 students back to school safely by providing them with adequate personal protective equipment and sanitization supplies.

Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox said Thursday the government is now asking NAN to resubmit its request — this time with a

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