Since September 2012, Canada, BC, FNESC, and the FNSA have been working together to
implement a five-year Tripartite Education Framework Agreement (TEFA), which has the
primary purpose of improving achievement rates for First Nation students in BC. TEFA formally
recognizes the capacity of First Nations in BC to create and implement a relevant and research-based
First Nations education system that will improve student outcomes.


TEFA eBulletin – June 5, 2018

The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) publish this eBulletin to support BC First Nations communities and schools with respect to the Tripartite Education Framework Agreement.  

What is TEFA?

TEFA is a five-year agreement signed by FNESC, Canada and BC in 2012, and is a fundamental component of the BC First Nations education system.

The purpose of TEFA is to improve the educational outcomes of First Nations students in BC, and it includes:

  1. Funding for First Nation students enrolled in First Nations schools that is comparable to the provincial education funding model, with specific adaptations to reflect the unique needs of First Nations.
  2. Second level services – collectively organized programs, providing economies of scale for First Nations determined services and accountability approaches.
  3. Third level services – coordination of a unified voice for policy development, communications, and advocacy for First Nations education.

TEFA Renewal

TEFA was scheduled to expire on March 31, 2017, but it was extended to June 30, 2018 to allow time for Canada to secure its mandate to negotiate a renewed agreement.

FNESC and FNSA began preparing for TEFA renewal in the summer of 2016 through the development of detailed funding requests related to school transportation, technology, First Nations language and culture, adult education, and special education. That work was led by Working Groups comprised of First Nation and First Nation school representatives, as well as input gathered through two TEFA provincial planning meetings in February 2017 and March 2018.

Negotiations are also guided by the FNESC/FNSA Negotiation Protocol that was signed in October 2017.

The renewed TEFA is expected to address a number of issues that were not sufficiently funded in the 2012 agreement, including enhanced resources for school connectivity, First Nations Language and Culture programming in First Nations schools, adult education, and First Nations school bus purchases and ongoing transportation costs.

TEFA Renewal – Confirmed New Funding Summary

One-Time Funding Received and Spent in 2017-2018

  • $1,380,000 for new computers for First Nation schools
  • $1,490,000 for First Nation school connectivity upgrades
  • $1,702,000 for First Nation school bus purchases

New Funding for 2018-2019

  • One-time funding of $2,540,000 for upgrading the connectivity of First Nation schools not served in 2017/2018.
  • $11,488,326 for maintaining First Nation school connectivity from 2018-2023. (This funding is being allocated by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC) as part of the TEFA Funding Formula for First Nation schools).

Other Additional Funding

Thanks to the intervention of First Nations Leadership in November 2017, Canada has made a commitment to provide an additional $20 million dollars annually for First Nations education in BC, to be released with the renewal of TEFA.

At a provincial TEFA information session on March 12, 2018, which included 160 First Nation and First Nation school representatives, a proposed plan for the use of that $20 million was presented for response.  Specifically, it was suggested that in each year of the renewed TEFA, the $20 million will be used to provide increased financial support for:

  • First Nations Language and Culture programs
  • Transportation for First Nation schools
  • Transportation capital for First Nation schools
  • First Nations adult education; and
  • Second and Third Level Services for First Nations schools and communities.

Generally, participants in the March 12 gathering meeting expressed appreciation for the additional resources and indicated that they support the proposed plans for the new resources.

TEFA renewal negotiations are continuing at an urgent pace in order to meet the June 30, 2018 extension deadline, and we look forward to distributing more updates as soon as possible.