New way of thinking about Aboriginal education needed

Major new study on Inner City High Schools based on the views of Aboriginal students, parents, educators
December 11, 2002

(Winnipeg) Aboriginal high-school students want the education necessary to enable them to participate fully in Canadian society and in their own self-governance, but they do not want to abandon what it is to be Aboriginal in order to do so. That is one of the main findings of a new study that investigates the educational circumstances of Aboriginal students in Winnipeg inner city high schools. The report, Aboriginal Education in Winnipeg Inner-City High Schools, was prepared by Jim Silver and Kathy Mallett, with Janice Greene and Freeman Simard, and published today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba.

Some estimates suggest that over the next decade one in three people in Manitoba reaching working age will be Aboriginal. Yet the educational system is not now doing well in meeting the educational needs of Aboriginal people in Manitoba and in Winnipeg. Manitoba, the province with the highest proportion of Aboriginal people in Canada, is the province with the lowest proportion of Aboriginal youth attending school.

A distinctive feature of Aboriginal Education in Winnipeg Inner-City High Schools is that it is based primarily on the views of Aboriginal people. The authors interviewed 130 Aboriginal students in Winnipeg inner city high schools, Aboriginal school leavers, adult members of the Aboriginal community, and teachers, in addition to an extensive review of relevant literature.

This study was undertaken in cooperation with two community-based organizations, Mother of Red Nations Women's Council of Manitoba (MORN) and the Community Education Development Association (CEDA), with funding provided by the University of Winnipeg's Community-University Research Alliance program, the Winnipeg Inner City Research Alliance.

Aboriginal Education in Winnipeg Inner-City High Schools, which includes an executive summary and specific policy recommendations, will be released at a media conference:

Wednesday, December 11, 2002
2:00 pm
Turtle Island Community Centre, 270 Flora Ave

Along with the authors, representatives of the sponsoring organizations and leaders from the Aboriginal community will be in attendance.