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First Nations gathering to grapple with education gap –

by NationTalk on January 23, 2012588 Views

First Nations gathering to grapple with education gap

Senate committee recommending new aboriginal school board system, national panel reports next month

By Janyce McGregor, CBC News Posted: Jan 23, 2012

One of the most urgent topics up for discussion at Tuesday’s Crown-First Nations gathering is also the one most likely to see concrete progress in the coming weeks: the gap between the educational outcomes of aboriginal and non-aboriginal children.

Fewer than half of First Nations students both on and off reserve graduate from high school, compared to more than 80 per cent of other Canadian young people. Non-aboriginal students are more than 10 times more likely to graduate from university.

It’s a stark discrepancy that bodes ill for the future, especially considering the rapid growth in the school-age aboriginal population across Canada. For example, one estimate suggests that in the province of Saskatchewan, where the economy otherwise has grown significantly in recent years, more than one in five people entering the work force over the next 15 years will be aboriginal.

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