School systems across Canada reflect on Indigenous high school graduation rates

March 8, 2017

Regina Public Schools is celebrating a rise in graduation rates for Indigenous students following the implementation of an “Aboriginal Advocacy” program at high schools across the country. CBC highlights the experiences of Dawne Cassell, Indigenous advocate at Thom Collegiate, who helps nearly 200 Indigenous students with college applications, cultural awareness, and more. In Vernon BC, a fall in the number of Indigenous graduates has School District 22 looking for ways to improve. The district plans to raise awareness of its trades program, which has helped other Indigenous students, and is considering adding Aboriginal support workers to encourage young men to complete their education. Writing from Prince George, BC, high school teacher Gerry Chidiac reflects on how initiatives such as working with Aboriginal leaders to establish innovative programming have greatly benefited local students. Chidiac notes that success can be seen in the 61% graduation rate for Aboriginal students—previously never rising above 50%—as well as an increased celebration of personal identity. CBC (Regina) | CastaNet (Vernon) | Winnipeg Free Press (Subscription Required)