Source: OUSA: Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
Focus: Researchers, Teachers
Summary: This paper seeks to address the systemic barriers that impact the ability of Aboriginal peoples to access, persist and succeed in post-secondary education. Given histories of discrimination and chronic underfunding of Aboriginal education at both the K-12 and post-secondary level, OUSA believes that action must be taken by all levels of government and institutions. This is particularly pressing as recent figures have shown that the attainment gap for Aboriginal peoples may in fact be widening. OUSA affirms the importance of self-determination for Aboriginal peoples, and stresses that any policy intervention must be undertaken in direct partnership and consultation with Aboriginal communities.
OUSA suggests that the following steps be taken in order to address the barriers that Aboriginal peoples in post-secondary education:
- Asserting the shared responsibilities of both federal and provincial governments, and post-secondary institutions, to take action
- Acknowledging the importance that formative educational experiences can have on post-secondary attainment
- Calling for better financial assistance to be made available for Aboriginal students
- Addressing the need for comprehensive student support services in order to ensure Aboriginal student success
- Exploring the role in which post-secondary education can improve Aboriginal peoples’ employment outcomes, and the need for greater supports in order to achieve this
- Calling for institutions to consider how they can provide a more welcoming, safer space for Aboriginal students
- Recognizing the need for robust data and comprehensive metrics to ensure the evaluation of programming can occur.