December 29, 2015 - 6:30 PM
VANCOUVER - British Columbia's government is celebrating record-high graduation rates for aboriginal high-school students, but indigenous completion levels, provincially and for the rest of Canada, still fall significantly short of the national average.
Data from B.C.'s Education Ministry show the number of indigenous students finishing high school in the province has jumped from about 54 to 63 per cent in the past six years.
But that's still more than 20 percentage points shy of the 84-per-cent Canadian average for the general population.
University of British Columbia professor Linc Kesler says this trend upward will continue with further efforts to bridge the funding gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal students and by increasing the amount of aboriginal cultural content being taught in schools.
A 2014 internal Manitoba government report obtained earlier this year by The Canadian Press noted that the province had the lowest First Nations high-school graduation rate in the country, at 28 per cent.
University of Manitoba academic Frank Deer says mandatory aboriginal components in the curriculum and the introduction of aboriginal language instruction in Canada's North has put the territories considerably ahead of their provincial counterparts.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015