Much can be done to close Indigenous education gap, says Indspire president

February 8, 2017

“Financial resources are the number one barrier our students cite for their inability to achieve a postsecondary degree or any training beyond high school,” says Roberta Jamieson, president and CEO of the Indigenous education advocacy organization Indspire. In an interview with University Affairs, Jamieson describes the concrete steps that K-12 schools and PSE can take to help close the educational attainment gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in Canada. Jamieson notes that in addition to financial barriers, systemic racism remains a key factor in preventing Indigenous students from achieving better outcomes. “From a young age, students are exposed to curriculum materials that don’t reflect who they are,” Jamieson adds. “If you don’t see your culture validated, it’s very difficult to continue to embrace a system that doesn’t embrace you.” Jamieson voices her support for universities that have created Indigenous centres to make their campuses more welcoming, yet adds that much more can be done to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into the structure of academic knowledge. University Affairs