ONTARIO NATIVEEDUCATION COUNSELLING ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 220, 37A Reserve Road, Naughton, Ontario, P0M 2M0Phone: (705) 692-2999 Fax: (705) 692-9988Email:email@example.comWebsite:www.oneca.com
July 9, 2013Ms. Joanne WilkinsonRegional Director GeneralAboriginal Affairs and Northern Development CanadaGatineau, QuebecK1A 0H4Dear Ms. Wilkinson:On July 15, 2013 the new Education Information System for post- secondary reporting will be implemented by AANDC. AANDC hasinformed First Nations that failure to meet the deadline can result in financial hold back for post-secondary funding.Members of ONECA have stated that they do not feel they have been adequately consulted nor prepared to implement the new guidelines and that the system they are expected to report under is flawed and that the information being requested is unreasonable.The system is not sufficiently developed to make this a seamless reporting for First Nations. The Education Information System (EIS) has been promoted since early 2010 and several versions of the system have been introduced and modified. AANDC with the Chiefs of Ontarioundertook a two day planning session in Thunder Bay in March 2010 and in Toronto in November 2010. The regional sessions were held for the purpose of obtaining feedback on the development of the First Nation Education Information System. The reporting system that AANDChas produced contains significant deficiencies and was not in any state that First Nations could provide adequate and detailed response to thereporting system. The Post -Secondary report is part of an overall education information system that will include elementary secondary and special education which will be compiled into a single national system that is web based.The new EIS system is estimated to cost 27 million over 5 years based on 2010 predictions. It was expected that First Nations would developtheir own student information data systems through the new First Nations School Success Program Funding. There were two specific earlyconsultation processes with a system that was still undergoing development and First Nations presented their feedback, documented concernsand were to develop a strategy to discuss an internal preparatory dialogue for Ontario First Nation communities. First Nations have not beenadequately consulted to determine that the information requested is within the preview of the First Nation to meet all the informationrequested. Instead AANDC has directed its staff to advise First Nations to supply the report by July 15, 2013 or risk having fundingdisrupted.We fully agree that it is critical to have accurate reports that reflect and give a true picture of what is being expended within the post-secondary program, however we cannot ascertain the relevance of some of the information that is required, nor are we confident that theinformation is necessary if the main goal is to collect data on expenditures. One of the main concerns expressed by First Nations is, that theinformation being requested may infringe on the privacy act and that students’ information is not being protected or shared betweengovernment departments without obtaining privacy authorization on the use of this information. Although this concern has been expressed since the onset it has yet to be addressed.We have prepared a comprehensive list of concerns and recommendations that have been put forward by First Nations in Ontario regardingthe new guidelines and hope that AANDC will address these concerns and provide a reasonable extension to respond and provide adequatetraining on a reliable information system that has been debugged of deficiencies. AANDC must realize that many First Nations are under resourced by and will require additional resources to meet the current EIS reporting system. It is reasonable and necessary to makeadjustments to the system before of these guidelines thus to protect student information and extensions should be provided to all first nationswithout penalty while AANDC does a comprehensive review of the systems functionality and responds to the feedback from the informationsessions.We look forward to your immediate response.Respectfully,Roger ChumPresident.
Attachment: Concerns and Recommendations Regarding the AANDC Post-Secondary Reporting Guidelines July 2013