About Us » Who we are

Who we are

The First Nations with Schools Collective (FNWSC) is made up of eight First Nation governments located across Ontario. Two are of the great Haudenosaunee People and six are of the great Anishinaabek People. All eight are autonomous First Nations with schools in their communities.


As education directors do the daily work needed to run superb systems despite inadequate funds and resources under the Government of Canada’s First Nation policy, FNWSC keeps the goal of First Nations’ Control over First Nation Education on the table by commissioning research, hosting meetings and collaborating with experts in lawmaking and curriculum development.



FNWSC was created in 2016 by First Nations Chiefs in Ontario who wanted an inter-nation work space that did not diminish each nation's inherent right to control over its own local education. As a collective, participating First Nations with separate and distinctly local education systems work together for education transformation and self governance.

First Nations’ control over First Nations’ education for our respective citizens.



 First Nation education systems (which include on-reserve schools) are a fiscal responsibility of the government of Canada. This is according to inherent rights and treaties. But under federal policy, Indigenous communities are required to meet certain criteria in order to receive funds needed to run school systems.


The criteria required by the Government of Canada doesn't always reinforce the goals of the First Nation. 

Even when criteria is met, the funds do not include infrastructure dollars needed to create curriculum and programming that is critical after more than 150 years of punishing education policy, including Canada’s Indian Residential School System. 


The reporting process puts First Nation education systems in a precarious situation and prevents First Nations from exercising full jurisdiction over schooling.


It is a barrier to First Nations’ full jurisdiction over their own education systems.