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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Aboriginal Peoples and Postsecondary Education in Canada

Report by Michael Mendelson

This diagnostic report uses empirical data to provide an accurate picture of how Aboriginal Canadians are faring in post-secondary education (PSE). According to Michael Mendelson, this issue should be of interest to all Canadians because the future social and economic health of Western and Northern Canada, in particular, depends at least partly on their PSE success. Better-educated Aboriginal Canadians will provide a much-needed skilled workforce and lead to better social conditions. Mendelson also cites available data to suggest what future focus should be.

In his report Mendelson reviews basic demographics of the Aboriginal identity population. He compares PSE levels of Aboriginal Canadians vis-à-vis the general population and suggests what is necessary for Aboriginal Canadians to achieve parity with the overall population in terms of education. According to the author, Aboriginal PSE graduation at community colleges is almost at the same level as that of the general population. However, there are fewer university graduates. Also, the high school dropout rates among the Aboriginal population are disproportionately high. For example, approximately 70 percent of Aboriginals in Manitoba aged 20-24 did not complete high school, compared to 16 percent in the same age group in the general population.

Mendelson concludes with several recommendations. He concludes that education is the way to effect change in the fortunes of Canada’s Aboriginal population. In his view, failure to complete high school is the biggest impediment to increasing success in post-secondary education. Mendelson also posits that Canada’s high rate of failure for high school completion by Aboriginal Canadians is a dire problem that must be addressed.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Michael Mendelson;
Publisher: Caledon Institute of Social Policy [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2006; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Education
Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Economic Development
Policy Articles / Education / Post-secondary Education
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Western Canada
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Northern Canada
Policy Articles / Aboriginal
Policy Articles / Education
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral
Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Economic Development / 2006
Policy Articles / Education / Post-secondary Education / 2006
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Northern Canada / 2006
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Western Canada / 2006
Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Education / 2006


Keywords / Tags:

Aboriginal Canadians; post-secondary education; social and economic health; Western Canada; Northern Canada; skilled workforce; Aboriginal identity population; graduation rates; community colleges; university; high school dropout rates;