Disclosure to First Nations

Information about students, including marks and disciplinary proceedings, can be disclosed to First Nations education authority employees if the students are attending a school pursuant to a tuition agreement with the First Nation. Most tuition agreements provide for the sharing of student information with the First Nation. Section 28(2)(h) of LAFOIP allows the sharing of personal information pursuant to such agreements.

In addition, the education authority of the First Nation has responsibility for the education of the child and requires personal information of the student in order to provide education services, in the same way as provincial boards.  Instead of providing services directly the First Nation contracts with the board to provide the services.  Section 24 of LAFOIP allows the board of education to collect information associated with its purposes. Section 28(2)(a) of LAFOIP allows the information to be disclosed for the purposes for which the information was obtained, compiled or for a use consistent with those purposes.

Personal information of students should be shared only with those persons whose job requires them to provide educational services to the First Nations students. The ability to share personal information of students does not extend to persons who are not involved in educational issues. Requests for information about students from recreation workers, social workers or community workers employed by the First Nation should be treated in the same way as any other third party request for information.

It is recommended that protocols be established for the sharing of personal information of students. Such protocols should address the following issues:

  • who has access to the information – only those who require it to provide educational services  and only for education purposes;
  • politicians will be treated in a similar manner to school board members (i.e. with restricted access to information);
  • professional information such as tests will be shared only with professionals who can interpret and utilize the information appropriately;
  • personal information of individual staff members will not be shared;
  • personal information of non-First Nations students will not be shared; and
  • information will be collected, stored, disclosed and retained in accordance with generally accepted principles of protection of privacy similar to the principles of LAFOIP.

It is good practice to advise the parents of First Nations students that information will be shared with the First Nation education authority.

If First Nations students are not paying tuition and are registered in the same way as other provincial students the board should not be disclosing the personal information of those students without the student’s and/or parents’ permission.