Education Partnerships Program Regional Education Agreement)

Government of Canada

Relevent Country: Canada

The Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has announced a call for proposals for the Regional Education Agreement component to advance First Nations student achievement in First Nations, independent, provincial and territorial schools.

The Government of Canada is committed to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through a renewed, nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership as the foundation for transformative change. The implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples requires transformative change in the government’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

REA Pillars

  • Comprehensive funding arrangements, covering all federal support for First Nations elementary and secondary education, including special education and education supports for languages.
  • Clear and defined roles and responsibilities of the parties to the REA, including applicable service standards, as determined by First Nations.
  • Mutual accountability mechanisms with clear objectives, performance indicators and reporting expectations for both the Government of Canada and First Nations education system participants.
  • First Nations will give direction to outline processes of working with ministries of education to ensure quality education is provided to First Nations students attending provincial, private or territorial schools.
  • The regional aspect of an actual REA is defined as any territory which First Nations choose to implement First Nations control of First Nations education and negotiate or renegotiate a First Nations REA. This can include, but is not limited to, a territory defined as a:
  • single First Nation
  • tribal council
  • treaty affiliation
  • language family
  • entire province


REA funding is intended to support First Nations in establishing information sessions related to education transformation, technical tables and negotiating or renegotiating an education agreement supported by leadership. These activities are related to, but not limited to:

  • formalizing education systems to support stronger service
  • actively working on a First Nations-designed education system that reflects their vision of culturally-appropriate education to achieve student success
  • designing education frameworks around specific initiatives, determined by First Nations, to address specific priorities leading to measurable improvements in student outcomes
  • identifying the source data and methodology used to cost activities related to improved student outcomes
  • outlining how the Government of Canada can better support First Nations students, schools, communities and education organizations in ensuring that First Nations students receive a high quality, linguistically and culturally appropriate education that will support improved student outcomes and strengthen First Nations control of First Nations education.

Eligible Activities

REA funding is provided to support the following activities:

  • delivering information sessions on education transformation to ensure information-sharing, awareness-raising or other engagement activities in support of the overall implementation of a formula-based funding approach to education on reserve.
  • establishing technical tables to discuss the interim regional funding formula and to provide an opportunity for First Nations to collectively explore ongoing joint review, evaluation and refinement of the interim regional funding formula in support of elementary and secondary education.
  • establishing technical tables to discuss or to explore potential outcomes of entering into a REA and to support:
  • identifying First Nations education priorities
  • identifying First Nations-focused education system
  • establishing First Nations-driven targeted student outcomes and goals, such as but not limited to increasing student retention rates and graduation rates
  • helping ISC formulate the financial needs and requests for subsequent budgets
  • negotiating or renegotiating a REA which includes the elements stated above and where applicable, providing an opportunity for First Nations to expand and negotiate existing activity schedules in their agreement.
  • developing a REA implementation plan to articulate the outcomes, goals, activities, roles and responsibilities and monitoring processes as part of a First Nations-focused education system that includes financial needs.

Duration of Funding

  • 2023 to 2024 approved funding will be provided through a 1-year contribution agreement.
  • A given year’s level of approved funding does not guarantee funding or the same level of funding in following years.
  • Recipients are required to report anticipated deferred or surplus funding to ISC by February 15, 2024 using the Deferred/Surplus Funding Plan.

Eligible Recipients

Applicants who may be eligible to receive funding for this program are:

First Nations

  • any First Nations organization mandated by First Nations
  • First Nations organizations mandated by First Nations must demonstrate support in writing from the First Nations, such as but not limited to, a band council resolution, letter or email of support.
  • Where the proposal is intended to support information session or technical tables, demonstrated support from First Nations are only required IF First Nations specific information is expected to be shared with the applicant. In circumstances where the applicant is engaging in the negotiation or renegotiation of a REA, a band council resolution from each participating First Nations is required prior to or concurrent with submitting a proposal.
  • Entities such as bands or First Nations organizations that are delivering education services under a self-government arrangement are not eligible to apply to the REA component.