There are approximately 130 First Nations schools across British Columbia and they are committed to providing quality instruction as well as nurturing, caring environments for children. The schools have a mandate to emphasize and promote conventional academics as well as First Nations cultures and languages, and they strive to reflect the values and traditions of the communities they serve.
While sharing those foundations, the schools also vary tremendously. Not only are the languages, cultures, values, and perspectives of the school communities different; the schools range in size from less than ten to nearly 300 students, and they have between one and dozens of staff people. The grades offered range from K4 and K5 only to every grade from K4 through to Grade 12. Some First Nations schools are located in or near urban centers, while others are extremely remote – sometimes hundreds of kilometers from the nearest center and accessible only by plane or boat. In addition, while some of the schools have been operating for almost three decades, some have been in existence for only a few years.
First Nations schools in BC have been working together through the First Nations Schools Association since 1996.