Canada must build structured K-12 Indigenous education systems, says ministry note

October 19, 2016

A persistent federal funding gap and lack of structures and resources for Indigenous education means that many Indigenous students are at a significant disadvantage compared to their non-Indigenous peers, reports CBC. A “secret” briefing note prepared for Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett reportedly says that band-operated schools are failing students because “many communities lack the educational systems and structures required to close the educational outcome gap.” The briefing goes on to note that most band-operated schools do not have proper curriculum development, teacher training, testing and quality assurance, or the support structures available to non-Indigenous schools such as a school board, elected trustees, or an education ministry. Cindy Blackstock explains that the gap in Indigenous student achievement has negative impacts on students’ wellbeing that can last long after finishing their K-12 education. “These kids know that other kids are succeeding. The children internalise it as their own failure. 'I'm not smart enough. I'm not good enough. It's our community, we're losers’,” says Blackstock. CBC | CBC (2) | CBC (3)