K-12 Funding – Indigenous Education

Date came into force or revised

Issued September 1, 2002.  Revised and in effect September 1, 2010



Policy statement

The Ministry of Education and Child Care provides enhanced funding to school age students of Indigenous ancestry. Enhanced funding provides culturally-appropriate educational programs and services to support the success of Indigenous students.

Rationale or purpose of policy

This policy is part of a larger policy framework to support the achievement of Indigenous students. Other components of the policy framework include Enhancement Agreements and school plans.


Section 106.3 of the School Act (PDF) describes how the operating grant to boards is calculated. Sections 106.4 and 117(1)(f) of the Act provide the legal authority for targeted grants.

Policy in full

Targeted Indigenous Education Funding

Targeted Indigenous education funding requires the collaboration of boards of education and local Indigenous communities to develop and deliver Indigenous education programs and services that integrate academic achievement and Indigenous culture or language or both.

School age students of Indigenous ancestry participating in Indigenous education programs and services offered by public schools are eligible for Indigenous education funding. Adult students are not eligible.

Students qualifying for Indigenous education funding will be funded as per the current year's operating grant manual.

Targeted funding provided to boards of education must be spent on the provision of Indigenous education programs and services. The delivery and outcomes of these programs and services must be documented, preferably through Enhancement Agreements.

Funded Indigenous education programs and services must be in addition to any other program and service which an Indigenous student is eligible.

Targeted Indigenous education funding must not be used

  • to replace other funded programs such as Special Education or English Language Learning
  • for the delivery of the provincial curriculum (including courses such as BC First Nations Studies and English First Peoples).

Full-Day Kindergarten

With the implementation of Full Day Kindergarten for all students, Indigenous education students enrolled full time in a full-day kindergarten program are funded as one full-time equivalent (FTE).

Boards of Education are encouraged to consult Indigenous communities in the development and delivery of full-day kindergarten programs.


Indigenous ancestry is determined on a voluntary basis through self-identification. School districts report students of Indigenous ancestry using Box 16 according to Form 1701 Instructions.

School districts report students participating in Indigenous education programs and services on Form 1701.

Students who are First Nations status living on reserve and who are receiving an educational program in a public school provided by a board of education should be reported on Form 1701.