Pencils of Hope is a not-for-profit initiative based out of Treaty 4 territory (Regina, Saskatchewan). According to the study Underinvesting in Our Future, K-12 schools across the province have been underfunded by $2.4 billion since 2007. In addition to the shortfall of funding for all schools across Saskatchewan, “First Nations children living on reserves receive at least 30 percent less funding for their education as children under provincial jurisdiction” (CBC).
As of recent, we have reconsidered our role in reconciliation and have further adjusted our initiative to support the Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 Calls to Action (Number 8: “We call upon the federal government to eliminate the discrepancy in federal education funding for First Nations children being educated on reserves and those First Nations children being educated off reserves.”). Because of the overwhelming gap in funding for schools on reserves compared to schools off of reserves, Pencils of Hope works to help bridge the gap by doing as much as we can.
Through AY Photography, donations, and sponsors, Pencils of Hope partners with various schools across the province and offers school supplies. Starting from nothing but a breakfast conversation, Pencils of Hope launched in 2015 and we've been working hard to help bridge the funding gap since then!