Source: Eric Howe, Gabriel Dumont Institute
Summary: A three part Report
Part I of the report outlines lifetime earnings in Saskatchewan by level of education. There are Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal education gaps at all levels of education—high school, post-secondary non-university, and university. As one would expect, an increase in education increases lifetime earnings, regardless of race or gender; however, Howe’s report demonstrates that the financial rate of return for education is greater for Aboriginal peoples. Without an education, Aboriginal people earn dramatically less than non-Aboriginal people, but with an education, Aboriginal earnings increase more because they largely catch up with non- Aboriginal earnings. In addition, gender is significant: women have a higher financial return from education than men, and Aboriginal women more so, for the same reason.
Part II of the report outlines what it would take to bridge the Aboriginal education gap and asks the pertinent question, “How much is Saskatchewan’s economy wasting because of the Aboriginal education gap?” Howe shows the individual and social benefits of bridging that gap. Individual benefits are discussed in two broad categories: monetary (e.g., higher incomes) and nonmonetary (e.g., greater job satisfaction, improved health).
Part III of the report provides a summary of Parts I and II and then provides as an addendum with additional details on a macroeconomic analysis of “the first ever made-in-Saskatchewan boom.” Howe makes the compelling case that unlike past economic booms in Saskatchewan that have resulted from natural resources or technological innovation, improving Aboriginal education attainment will result in a made-in-Saskatchewan boom that will have greater permanence.