Current Reality

High School Graduation RatesIndigenousNon-Indigenous

The above is based on

University/College Completion RateIndigenousNon-Indigenous

The above tables are based on Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC’s) Census Core Table 9A and INAC’s Census Core Table 6.05 as reported in the 2019 Indigenous Economic Progress Report

Between 1996 and 2016, a 2 per cent cap on annual increases was in place; between 2004-05 and 2013-14, provincial expenditures increased roughly 2 per cent a year after adjusting for inflation (during this same time period). This is in the context of declining enrolment.

Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) estimates that, nationally, the total funding shortfall for education programming in all band-operated schools in 2012-13 was between $300 million and $595 million. PBO estimates this shortfall grew to between $336 million and $665 million in 2016-17.

Federal Spending on Primary and Secondary Education on First Nations Reserves: Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Dec. 6, 2016

There are seven Education Calls to Action. To find out more about each Call to Action, including government and stakeholder responses and progress to date, visit the links below.

Education Calls to Action

Call to Action #6Repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code
Call to Action #7Develop a joint strategy to eliminate education and employment gap
Call to Action #8Eliminate discrepancy in education funding for on-reserve vs off-reserve
Call to Action #9Prepare and publish annual education reports: Indigenous vs non-Indigenous
Call to Action #10Draft Indigenous Education legislation with Indigenous people engaged
Call to Action #11Provide funding to end backlog for First Nations post-secondary education
Call to Action #12Develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs

Education for Reconciliation

There are four Education for Reconciliation Calls to Action. To find out more about each Call to Action, including government and stakeholder responses and progress to date, visit the links below.

Call to Action # 62Consultations on Indigenous education reform (curriculum content, funding)
Call to Action # 63Commitment to Indigenous education (K-12 curriculum, teacher training)
Call to Action # 64Denomination schools must teach course on Indigenous spirituality
Call to Action # 65Establish a National Research Program with multi-year funding

Current Problems and Issues in Education

Premier of Manitoba ignores contribution of Métis and First Nations in speech celebrating the 150th anniversary of Manitoba entering Canada

May 13 – Premier Pallister missed a golden opportunity to advance reconciliation by deliberately choosing to ignore the contribution of the Métis and First Nations peoples to the founding of Manitoba and its entry into the newly formed confederation of Canada. “Manitoba” derived from the Cree, Ojibwe or Assiniboine languages means “straits of Manitou, the Great Spirit”. (Canadian Encyclopedia). Louis Riel, the Métis leader, brought Manitoba into Canada in 1870.  He also led the northwest rebellion after Canada reneged on land promises it made in return for Manitoba’s entry info confederation.

Sound familiar.

What better forum to advance reconciliation than the 150th anniversary of Manitoba’s entry into Confederation to celebrate the leadership of Louis Riel, the Métis leader and the First Nations who made up the original inhabitants of Manitoba. In a province where Indigenous people make up 18% of the population according to the 2016 census, Pallister could have taken the opportunity to celebrate Indigenous people. What a missed opportunity to change perceptions, combat negative stereotypes and use the opportunity to move reconciliation forward. Instead he has chosen to further entrench negative bias and white privilege  in a province where according to the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs:

  • 74% of incarcerated men are Indigenous
  • 82% of youth in custody are Indigenous
  • over 90% of children in the child welfare system are Indigenous
  • the highest rates of child poverty at 75 per cent;
  • highest rate of police-involved deaths of Indigenous people at 60 per cent; and
  • one of the highest rates of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls at more than 50 per cent

Prime Minister Trudeau on National Indigenous Day on June 21, 2020 acknowledged the contribution of Louis Riel and the Métis people in bringing the province of Manitoba into Confederation. He also took the opportunity to recommit his government to Reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.

Government of Ontario reneges on previous Liberal government’s commitment to make new Indigenous curriculum mandatory

May 21, 2019 – Release of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies Curriculum for Grades 9 – 12 by Ministry of Education. The 10 courses making up the revised curriculum are not mandatory as recommended by the TRC C2A # 62 but are “electives”.

On July 10, 2018, the newly elected Conservative government cancelled curriculum writing sessions initiated by the previous Liberal government designed to fulfil findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In the intervening year, the conservative government did not engage fully in consulting sessions with the indigenous stakeholders throughout the province contrary to their public statements. Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN), a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities within northern Ontario with the total population of membership (on and off reserve) estimated around 45,000 people was not consulted even once.

The previous Liberal government committed $15M over three years In response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action (#62 and #63), Ontario was investing the funds to support the development of resources and educator capacity to enhance the learning and teaching of the history of the residential schools system, the legacy of colonialism and the importance of treaties.

Calls to Action Status Updates

For an updated summary of the TRC Calls to Action, including all Education Calls to Action, click here (PDF 205 KB).