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New reports raise question about Indigenous education

By Tim Davidson Nov 30, 2023 | 11:17 AM

The provincial and federal governments have to invest more to close gaps in the education for Indigenous students.

That’s the feeling of Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa.

“The Chiefs of Ontario launched two reports in these gaps in K to 12 schools across Ontario,” Mamakwa told the Ontario Legislature during Question Period on Wednesday.

“The evidence in the reports confirms the need to increase supports for First Nation learners in the provincial system.”

The reports show that Indigenous students have a poorer attendance record than other students in Ontario schools and the rate of suspensions for Indigenous students is higher.

But Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford says they are investing more to close the gaps found in the education system.

“There has been important work to expand Indigenous learning opportunities throughout the Ontario school system, including more responsive curriculum and new programs as well as renewed efforts to engage families and communities.  Now that’s coming up from the Chiefs of Ontario’s annual report, and it’s being backed up by significant investments.”

The reports also finds that only 68 percent of First Nations students in grade 9 were on track to graduate, compared to 87 percent of Ontario students overall.