Reserve schools failing First Nations students: study

VANCOUVER - Reserve schools are failing Canada's aboriginal students and there is no quick-and-easy fix, says a new report from the C.D.

See Full Article

Howe Institute.

A study released Thursday by the research group found that only four of 10 young adults living on reserves across the country have finished high school.

Those figures contrast sharply with graduation rates of seven out of 10 for off-reserve aboriginals and nine out of 10 for non-aboriginals. The study also found eight out of 10 Metis graduate from high school across the country.

John Richards, one of the study's authors, said any attempt at reform needs to be multi-pronged and more incremental than earlier attempts at sweeping, legislative solutions.

"There's no silver bullet here. Giving more money won't fix it all," Richards said in an interview, adding that an increase in funding is still an essential part of any viable plan to improve on-reserve schools.

The study called "Students in Jeopardy: An Agenda for Improving Results in Band-Operated Schools" highlights the many repercussions stemming from low levels of education, including unemployment, poverty, limited social and economic opportunities, crime, health problems and ongoing dependence on government for housing.

"This bleak prospect should make improving education results for on-reserve students imperative for bands, the (Assembly of First Nations) and the federal government," reads the report.

The research singles out British Columbia as leading the country for high-school certification on reserves, coming in at nearly 60 per cent - handily topping the national average of 42 per cent.

B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier was quoted late last year as celebrating a nine-percentage-point jump in the aboriginal graduation rate in the province over the past six years, both on and off reserves.

In comparison, the graduation level in Manitoba was pegged at 30 per cent, about half that of British Columbia's.

Richards attributed B.C.'s relative success to several factors, including the presence of a provincewide aboriginal education group that acts as a pseudo-school board, as well as collaboration between B.C.'s First Nations Education Steering Committee, the province and the federal government.

He spoke against focusing immediately on legislation as a solution, referencing the high-profile failures of the Kelowna Accord a decade ago and, more recently, Bill C-33, the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act that drew loud opposition from the aboriginal community.

"The diversity of viewpoints among First Nation leaders and the often poorly informed positions advanced in Parliament mean that legislative reserve-school reform has become a Sisyphean exercise," the report read.

Instead, Richards pushed for incremental change by increasing reserve-school funding, setting clear and measurable targets, regularly assessing those targets and affirming band responsibilities.

"A prerequisite to improving reserve schools is to acknowledge First Nations' legitimate distrust of government, rooted in Canada's efforts to dismantle aboriginal languages and cultures, in particular through residential schools," reads the report.

A spokeswoman for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada said the Liberal government will make "significant new investments" to ensure children on reserves receive a quality education, while also respecting the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education.

"The government will explore options and develop a road map to move forward on First Nation education. We will be able to provide more details once that direction is established," said Valerie Hache in a statement.

"By sitting down with First Nations and listening to their concerns and ideas, we will be able to determine together how to improve education outcomes for First Nation students and ensure First Nation control of education reforms in their communities."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Barbados says goodbye to queen, transforms into republic

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO -- Barbados stopped pledging allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday as it shed another vestige of its colonial past and became a republic for the first time in history. Several leaders and dignitaries, including Prince Charles, attended the ceremony that began late Monday in a popular square where the statue of a well-known British lord was removed last year amid a worldwide push to erase symbols of oppression. Source
  • Prosecutors to begin case against Jussie Smollett in Chicago

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- Testimony is set to begin Tuesday in the trial of ex-"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, who prosecutors say staged a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago but whose defence attorney says is "a real victim" of a "real crime. Source
  • Appeals court to weigh Trump arguments to withhold records

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. President Donald Trump's lawyers will try to persuade a federal appeals court to stop Congress from receiving call logs, drafts of speeches and other documents related to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Source
  • Jurors at trial in Daunte Wright slaying go under microscope

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- When attorneys begin sifting through potential jurors on Tuesday in the trial of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who says she meant to use her Taser instead of her gun when she killed Daunte Wright, they'll take a hard look at their attitudes toward policing, protests, and the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements. Source
  • Myanmar court postpones verdict for ousted leader Suu Kyi

    World News CBC News
    A court in Myanmar postponed its verdict on Tuesday in the trial of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to allow testimony from an additional witness. The court agreed with a defence motion that it allow a doctor who had previously been unable to come to court to add his testimony, a legal official said. Source
  • U.S. intelligence community 'struggled' to brief Trump, CIA study says

    World News CTV News
    The U.S. intelligence community "struggled" to brief U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in 2016, achieving "only limited success" in educating and developing a relationship with the incoming president, according to a newly released unclassified history of the transition period published by the CIA's in-house academic centre. Source
  • Two more arrests at new Wet'suwet'en blockade near Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C.

    Canada News CBC News
    Two people were arrested Monday morning after blockading an access road used by the company building a gas pipeline on traditional Indigenous territories in northern B.C. RCMP arrested about 30 Wet'suwet'en members and supporters — along with two photojournalists — in the same area on Nov. Source
  • Elizabeth Holmes accuses ex-lover, business partner of abuse

    World News CTV News
    SAN JOSE, CALIF. -- Disgraced entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes described herself as the abused puppet of her former lover and business partner Sunny Balwani in tearful testimony Monday, part of her attempt to refute accusations that she lied about a flawed blood-testing technology she had hailed as a major breakthrough. Source
  • B.C. store owner who offered employee cash for sex and then fired her ordered to pay $99K

    Canada News CBC News
    A shopkeeper in a small B.C. community has been ordered to pay nearly $99,000 to a former employee he repeatedly harassed and offered cash for sex. Wooyoung Joung, who also goes by Aiden or Kai, fired the young woman after she rejected his $2,000 proposition and then snuck onto her property multiple times when she filed a discrimination complaint against him, according to a recent decision from the B.C. Source
  • Hanukkah in pictures from around the world

    World News CBC News
    now Source