Building a stronger, more united country

Indigenous Peoples represent nearly 5% of Canada’s population—1.7 million people. Investing in Indigenous education is an important step toward improving the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians and to building a stronger, more united country. Closing the achievement gap between Indigenous students and other students can create jobs and grow Canada’s economy by $27.7 billion, or 1.5% annually. One example is the Indigenous-run Anishinabek Educational Institute (AEI) in northern Ontario. They partner with post-secondary institutions to offer students degree and diploma programs, as well as apprenticeships. The curriculum reflects cultural heritage, identity and community needs.

Fast Facts

  • First Nations Partnership Programs help train Indigenous educators and elevate the education of Indigenous youth.
  • Since 2013, there has been a 55% increase in the number of academic programs that include an Indigenous focus or are designed for Indigenous students.
  • The Métis community of Fort McKay, Alberta, became the first in Canada to buy all the land it’s on from a provincial government in March 2018.
  • Two-thirds of universities are incorporating Indigenous knowledge, methods and protocols into teaching policies, programs and practices.

Addressing injustices in Canada

For over 100 years, Indigenous children in Canada were required to attend government-funded residential schools, which removed them from their communities and parents and their in the spiritual, cultural and intellectual development of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children. The last residential school closed in 1996, but its legacy continues to affect Indigenous Peoples today.

The Government of Canada is working to renew a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples. In 2008 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established, and in 2016 Canada adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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