Aboriginal Grad Rates Lower Than Norm: Report

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 at 14:35



A new report is attaching numbers to a fact that many people already knew — Aboriginal students attend and complete high school at a lower rate than non-Aboriginal students.


A Canada’s Vital Signs report released yesterday examined attendance and completion of Aboriginal high school students, aged 15 and up.


The report says 56 per cent of Aboriginal students are completing high school, as compared to 76 per cent of non-Aboriginal students.


Monica Patten is the president and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada.


She says the 56 per cent high school completion rate among Aboriginal youth is “disturbing”, but says these numbers are nothing new.


“What I think was so startling for us was when we actually achieved that we want to achieve, which is to bring information to Canadians, in communities, that is easy to read, is accessible, it kind of slides off the paper at them. So to that extent, yes, this is startling, and we want it to be. On the other hand, we’re very aware that it’s not new information. We shouldn’t be pretending that it’s new information,” Patten says.


The high school completion rate for Aboriginal Canadians living on reserves was even lower, at 40 per cent.


The data was collected from the 2006 Statistics Canada census.