According to data collected from the 2016 Canada Census, there were 34 million Canadians, 2.1 million Indigenous people, and 1.5 million First Nations people. Of the total Canadian population, 28.6 million had obtained a high school diploma or equivalate certificate, while 1.2 million Indigenous people obtained the same level of education, but only 227,945 First Nations people living on-reserve graduated from high school or obtained an equivalent certificate in Canada. Therefore, at the time of the last census in Canada, only 7% of the total Canadian population, First Nations students living on-reserve graduating from high school while close to 80% of the total population who where non-Indigenous where graduating from high school in the same year and in the same country. In Manitoba, high school graduation rates for First Nations students are 39.9% lower than their non-Indigenous counterparts. There are many contributing factors to why First Nations high school graduation rates are so low. Many of these issues have stemmed from racist and assimilative polices legislated through different variations of the Indian Act. These policies have contributed to a wide array of socioeconomic issues among Indigenous people, both living on and off-reserve. As we move on to the next part of this journey, I will highlight the context and histories of these policies. You will learn that assimilation, racism, and genocide are deeply rooted in Canadian history, policy, and legislation. Which plays a significant role in educational gaps and the mistrust of authority and government.
Clark, A. (2021). Nin-gikino’amaagoz – I am a student (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.