An unexpected number of new students attending post-secondary school this fall created some confusion leading up to the council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Council voted to increase their deficit to approximately $700,000, so that all students will receive funding from the band. This is in addition to the funding from the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
When the LMG’s budget was created, a deficit of approximately $300,000 was projected. However, this year there were 49 new students and “mature students who are returning” that weren’t expected. This equaled nearly an additional $340,000 in borrowing.
Travis Wysote, the Summer Student Employment Coordinator for the Listuguj Education Directorate, started receiving phone calls on Aug. 5, from students who were recently notified that they wouldn’t receive funding from the LMG. People continued to contact him throughout the week and weekend.
On Monday, Aug. 10, names were being collected, and a plan was formed to attend the council meeting.
“We had about 260 or signatures within 12 hours,” said Wysote. “So I mean there was a lot of mobilization. We had about 80 people show up.”
Wysote said a major concern was the short notice. Most students would not have had sufficient time to make alternative arrangements before the school year began.
Council voted to increase funding. The budgets that will be affected to compensate for this deficit has yet to be determined.