Focus: Special Educators
Summary: A Brief Background
The First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) population is growing year by year. The report entitled Client Segment Profile: Aboriginal Peoples, Ontario (Service Canada, June 2014) indicates that close to 42% of the total FNMI population is comprised of children and youth aged 25 and under. This trend indicates that there will be increasing numbers of FNMI students in our schools in the years to come.
Factors that influence the FNMI population as a whole have a greater impact on students with learning disabilities. Social and historical conditions imposed by the Indian Act, which was enacted in 1876 and made Aboriginal people second-class citizens, resulted in the creation of an inequity that continues to impact the lives and education of the FNMI population to this day.
The following obstacles are described in the report (Service Canada, June 2014):
- Families and Households
- Greater prevalence of lone parent families in Aboriginal communities.
- Living Conditions
- A higher proportion of Aboriginal peoples living in homes in poor condition.
- Aboriginal peoples living on reserves in overcrowded homes.
- Lower levels of educational attainment in Aboriginal communities.
- Aboriginal peoples on reserves facing greater educational barriers.
- Aboriginal youth less likely to attend school.
Click here to access the Service Canada Client Segment Profile:
Aboriginal Peoples, Ontario:
The report concludes on a positive note, though. In general, the level of educational attainment in the FNMI population is rising; however, existing challenges continue to present obstacles. Efforts to increase educational attainment and initiatives implemented to support the academic success of FNMI students must continue. Having said this, students with learning disabilities must not be overlooked and the required programming must meet the specific needs of this population.