The Alberta government will not commit to helping close the extra costs borne by First Nations to send students to off-reserve schools.
Schools on reserves are funded by the federal government.
Whenever a parent wants to send a child to a school off-reserve, the First Nation ends up paying the difference, which one chief said can be as much as $3,000.
Alberta Aboriginal Relations Minister Robin Campbell was asked about the gap during an education conference in Edmonton on Wednesday.
All he would say is that he is discussing this and other issues with Ottawa.
"It's not that the province can't fund it," Campbell said. "It's the fact that the federal government has obligations under their treaty arrangements with the First Nations."
Campbell says he’s also trying to gather more information as he’s been given conflicting accounts of how much the gap is.
But Cameron Alexis, regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, called on the province to take action now.
"I don't think it's right after 40 years of blue power in Alberta," Alexis said. "Let’s do things right now. Let’s fix it. Let’s do the right thing.