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Category: Relevant Research

A Critical Perspective on the Canadian Education Gap: Assessing First Nation Student Education Outcomes in Canada May 2021

Source: Strategy Core Institute of Public Policy and Economy

Summary: Understanding the impacts of education institutions on First Nation communities requires consideration of both the history of education and its role in the erasure of sociocultural and spiritual practices, as well as its ongoing shortcomings to meet reconciliation goals and address the gaps in educational achievement. This paper aims to unpack the history of First Nations education in Canada, provide an overview of recommendations over the last several decades brought forth by First Nation and government bodies, outline the First Nation student learner outcomes in Canada, associated education gaps, and the key barriers to achievement, and initiate a critical path forward through three key recommendations. These recommendations are premised on the requirement that decision-making be in the hands of each individual First Nation, fully living up to “First Nation control of First Nation education.”

Chapter 4: Indigenous Youth in Canada

Source: Statistics Canada

Summary: Indigenous youth face unique structural inequities. The effects of colonization on Indigenous people in Canada continue to be felt and have reverberated through multiple generations. However, Indigenous youth continue to show resilience. While First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth are less likely to have an Indigenous mother tongue, many have taken on Indigenous languages as second languages.

This chapter will look at Indigenous youth in Canada by examining their demographic, familial, educational, economic, health, and cultural characteristics. Youth are defined as those aged 15 to 24. Data are largely taken from the 2016 Census of Population and the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, unless otherwise noted.

Indigenous Students: Policy Paper

Source: OUSA – Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

Summary: The Ontario provincial government has yet to make an open commitment to decolonization efforts and supporting Indigenous self-determination. In order to truly commit to truth, reconciliation, and the advancement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous allyship, the provincial government has a duty to openly express support for decolonization efforts and Indigenous self-determination. Each author, contributor, and supporter of this paper has come forward to build the following recommendations to reflect the principles and concerns we believe must be represented, respected, and acted upon by our government in order to ensure that there is not only harm reduction for those in our academic space, but inclusivity and equity. We are thankful and honoured for the support we have seen through the creation of this paper, and we are eagerly expecting the government’s unwavering and deserved support.

A collaborative project with Inuit youth, families and communities: School perseverance from the perspective of informal educational practices, community-driven science research, and educational pathways

Source: Society and Culture (September 2020)

Summary: The objective of this project was to describe the educational contributions of Inuit-led programs and projects in three communities, from the perspective of lifelong learning and perseverance, as based on the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) or Inuit epistemology. The study focused on the following programs in three different communities: 1) Arviat, Nunavut: a) Arviat Film Society (film club); b) Young Hunters Program (programme for future hunters); and c) Youth Environmental Monitoring Program(environmental monitoring program for young people); 2) Pond Inlet, Nunavut: Expanded Skills for Water Quality Study; and 3) Sanikiluaq, Nunavut: Arctic Eider Society , their Arctic Sea Ice Education Kit, as tested in some Nunavik communities.

The results suggest that Inuit youth and their mentors have found that the programs have empowered them, providing them with the opportunity to both discover their strengths and learn new skills, resulting in positive contributions to the common good of their communities. The programs also supported the revival of language and culture, the blending of indigenous Western lifestyles, and bridged an opportunity gap, to encourage perseverance, made evident by engaged lifelong learning and the pride of being Inuit.

The study argues for the need to strengthen Inuit control over education and provides insight into what a linguistically and culturally relevant education might entail. It also speaks of the need to provide schools and communities with the resources to continue education in ways that Inuit have always believed to be faithful, firmly rooted in Indigenous leadership models, with school-based education, on the ground and in the community, working in a complementary way and together, contributing to the strengthening of local capacities and to the common good.

National Indigenous Economic Strategy for Canada 2022: Pathways to Socioeconomic Parity for Indigenous Peoples

Summary: This National Indigenous Economic Strategy for Canada is the blueprint to achieve the meaningful engagement and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian economy. It has been initiated and developed by a coalition of national Indigenous organizations and experts in the field of economic development. The Strategy is supported by four Strategic Pathways: People, Lands, Infrastructure, and Finance. Each pathway is further defined by a vision that describes the desired outcomes for the actions and results of individual Strategic Statements. The Calls to Economic Prosperity recommend specific actions to achieve the outcomes described in the Strategic Statements.

This document is not intended as a strategic plan specifically, but rather a strategy that others can incorporate into their own strategic plans. In developing this Strategy, we built upon the many reports and research findings that have identified concrete recommendations and solutions to realize the vast potential of Indigenous economies. It is our hope that this strategy offers a pathway, a guide, and an opportunity for all Canadians to share our vision for economic equality and be part of this important effort. Across Canada, progressive leadership along with vibrant Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs are strengthening communities, contributing to regional economies, supporting self-determination, and leading economic reconciliation. This represents a vast future potential that could be realized in more communities if the right conditions were in place—inclusive of all Indigenous Peoples.

The Report included findings and recommendations relating to Nation rebuilding, recognition of an Indigenous order of government, creation of an Indigenous Parliament, expansion of the Indigenous land base, recognition of Métis self-government and rights, and new initiatives to address social, education, and housing needs. The Report also dedicated significant attention to the goal of developing a viable economic base for Indigenous Peoples.

How Residential Schools led to Intergenerational Trauma in the Canadian Indigenous Population to Influence Parenting Styles and Family Structures over Generations

Source: Canadian Journal of Family and Youth Vol. 12 No. 2 (2020): Special Issue

Summary: This paper intends to address current trauma among the Indigenous Canadian population due to the assimilationist goals of residential schools that influence parenting styles and the family structure. Other areas covered in this paper include parenting issues that the Indigenous community encounters every day. Additionally, social problems are examined in terms of intergenerational trauma and discussed further in terms of their influence and effect on the family structure of Indigenous communities in Canada. For example, education, health inequalities, and intimate partner violence are discussed. These issues are interrelated because of the detrimental and marginalized effect that residential schools have on survivors and generations to follow. Possible solutions to terminating family issues in the Indigenous community are by implementing specific methods that reflect the Indigenous way of life.

Career Resources

Source: SOI Foundation

Summary: SOI has led more than 35 expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic and places in between. Each incredible journey raised the bar on our mission to engage youth, further their knowledge of the Polar Regions, increase diversity among our participants, and encourage cross-cultural collaboration to support a healthy and sustainable future.

Our vision for the future builds on SOI’s success in experiential learning and youth engagement to now develop new programs that include land-based, community-based, and virtual learning opportunities. Additionally, SOI is broadening its support of youth beyond experiential learning to offer new opportunities and resources for mentorship, professional development and community service. As always, our goal is to inspire and foster sustainability leadership throughout every phase of SOI’s educational and professional development programs.

What Works. The Work Program: CORE ISSUES 5

Source: Australian Government, Department of Education, Science and Training

Summary: Student Engagement: Attendance, Participation and Belonging 

Three of these four terms — engagement, attendance, and participation — have a high profile in discussions of improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students. They sometimes have indistinct boundaries with attendance being used as a synonym for participation for example, and engagement ranging in people’s minds from meaning concentrated effort in the classroom to a description of very broad types of involvement.

At ground level, participation probably means things like joining in a sports carnival or providing an item at a concert, whereas from a technical perspective it is often related to grade retention and suspension statistics. Belonging brings a different flavour to the discussion and is included here for reasons explained overleaf. But taken together they provide a description of how we want our students to be — immersed constructively and enthusiastically in the developmental experiences and products that schooling provides.

First Nation Education Transformation

Source: Government of Canada

Summary: Respecting the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education, First Nations, and organizations designated by First Nations, are responsible for managing and delivering education programs and services for students who are ordinarily living on reserve. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provides funding for students who ordinarily live on reserve, are 4 to 21 years of age, and are enrolled in and attending an eligible elementary or secondary program.

Indigenous Education

Source: People for Education

Summary: Schools across Ontario have been working hard to support Indigenous education initiatives, with some impressive results. However, there is still work to be done.

Ontario has a lot to be proud of in terms of Indigenous education. For the past four years, People for Education has been asking schools about the Indigenous education opportunities they provide. Over that time period, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of schools reporting that they offer Indigenous education opportunities such as cultural support programs, guest speakers, or professional development for teachers.

In particular, the results from our 2018 Ontario School Survey show a notable increase in schools offering professional development and bringing in Indigenous guest speakers. In their survey responses, principals also pointed to a range of initiatives to support student learning and share Indigenous knowledge and perspectives, including Indigenous Studies courses, land acknowledgements, Orange Shirt Day, medicine gardens, and Indigenous language programs.

While the survey results show substantial progress in Indigenous education, there are also areas for continued work and improvement.

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