A recent report by the C.D. Howe Institute simply reiterates what we all know: we failed to accomodate the needs of a marginalized society (Aboriginals) and we should do something about that.
What is most depressing, however, is that the solution certainly did not require a professor, university money or a study to develop: create schools that intimately relate Aboriginals to their school curriculum and are modelled after school districts that achieve good results.
Yet, saying how ridiculous it is to study this sad state of affairs does not negate the reports findings. It does not negate the sad facts:
- Among Aboriginals living on-reserve, high-school completion rates are disastrous in Manitoba, at 28%, Alberta at 32% and Saskatchewan at 38%.
- Off-reserve, the completion rates are worst in the Northwest Territories at 46%, Manitoba at 63% and Alberta at 64%.
- By comparison, for non-aboriginals, completion rates range from a national high of 91% in British Columbia to a low of 84% in Newfoundland.
Professor Richards, the author of the report, argues for creating Aboriginal-run school authorities that are able to operate on-reserve schools – independent of individual band councils. Off-reserve, provinces should build on the practices of school districts that achieve good results.
The report is available at: http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Backgrounder_116.pdf