First Nations education

First Nations education


In Canada today there is a huge problem with the indigenous population. There are so many reasons why this is the case but needless to say they don’t receive the same quality of life. To get an idea of which ways this is true let’s look at some of the things that are different in indigenous societies.


Firstly, there is a history of intergenerational trauma from residential schools that continues today with the issues caused by the prevue’s trauma. Secondly, there are higher rates of everything bad like suicide, addiction, abuse, crime, school dropouts, and the like. Thirdly their communities are ostracized by some people and they aren’t considered for the same supports. This third contention is what I want to discuss now as the first and second have been previously written about by me.


In these days people talk about indigenous issues as if they are not important or as if they have already been dealt with. The opposite is true, for people in those communities and Canada as a whole it has never been a larger issue. This, however, is not well known or believed. The effect that this has is that indigenous issues are not discussed as often and therefor resources are not allocated as much. An example of this would be in Ontario schools where indigenous purples receive on average $8000 CAD dollars per student less than their typical counterparts. The effect of this is palpable in the education of the students because few of their students ever get their high school diplomas.


If we look at the statutes, we can see the effect well with only 6% of students going on to receive a university degree. This puts them at a major disadvantage so that they can hardly move up the socio-economic latter. If these students go on to live in poverty then that can treat trauma which continues the cycle of intergenerational trauma the got them here in the first place.


There are some key reasons why this is the case. These reasons include things like how small these communities can be meaning that class are combined in some cases all of high school in the same class, hard situations at home can cause students not to sleep, eat, or even show up to school, and the remoteness of these communities means that most qualified teachers don’t want to work there. Due to this stream of reasons the education can be sub-par even if they have the same funding. This, however, is not the case so you can see how subpar educations and funding compound to make the issue so much worse.


The effect that this has on first nations communities is individuals don’t have the opportunities to reach new opportunities and live their dream life, but on a more community level is that it amplifies all other issues like addiction and abuse. These effects directly violate the directives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and other documents to protect people and especially children. This is why it is so important for these issues to be addressed.


Most Canadian voters don’t care about these issues so for the most part politicians don’t have the political willpower to add funding or make leeway on these issues. So, to make politicians pay attention to these issues we as people need to put pressure on decision-makers of our nations. How we can do that is by sending letters to our representatives in government and if you aren’t Canadian you can make sure that something similar isn’t happening in your county.


Written by: Joshua Himmens.

CORIA Canada.