On Campus

Aboriginal people left behind in education

From The Globe and Mail:

The gap in high-school graduation rates for aboriginals and non-aboriginals has grown in recent years, while the percentage of aboriginal people with a university degree has increased only slightly compared with a massive boom among the general population, new research shows.Both are troubling figures that indicate much more needs to be done in one of the great social-policy challenges Canada faces, according to a study published Tuesday by the C.D. Howe Institute . . .

Using data from the 2006 census, Prof. Richards demonstrates that a high-school diploma makes any Canadian, whether aboriginal or not, nearly twice as likely to hold a job. But for aboriginal people aged 20 to 24, the group that most recently went through the Canadian school system, barely 60 per cent have completed high school, compared with nearly 90 per cent of non-aboriginals.

That rate drops to nearly 50 per cent among those that identify themselves as first-nations members, as opposed to Métis or Inuit, and declines to less than 40 per cent for those living on reserves. In other words, while younger aboriginals have sought more education than previous generations, they have not kept pace with the increase in education among other Canadians.

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