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Policy brief

Poor Educational Outcomes for Aboriginal Students Threaten Canada’s Prosperity

Published on 10/09/2008

Policy in Focus, Issue 5

Summary of Improving Education on Reserves: A First Nations Education Authority Act, by Michael Mendelson of The Caledon Institute of Social Policy. The report presents practical ideas to improve the educational attainment of First Nations living on reserve.

  • Sixty percent of students living on reserves are not graduating from high school. And things are getting relatively worse compared to non-Aboriginal students, not better.
  • Per capita funding of education by the federal government for children on reserves has not kept pace with provincial investment in the regular school system.
  • The education system for First Nations is not guided by any educational policy or legislative framework.
  • Most schools on reserves are based on a village school model. They are isolated and have little professional support.
  • Improving educational results on reserves would help alleviate poverty and would reduce government costs.

Download this issue of Policy in Focus.


Income security


Features research on educational attainment of First Nations living on reserves and makes three policy recommendations.