Examining Factors of Success for Aboriginal Students in K-12 Educational Systems in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Yukon

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Aboriginal education is a complex system of governance compromises, overlapping jurisdictions and multi-party agreements. The future of Aboriginal education is a dim one at present. Evidence from research has shown educational systems, for the most part, are failing Aboriginal students and creating education disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. To narrow these disparities, the following goals need to be a top priority: increasing academic performance, meeting cultural goals, and improving the management of reserve schools. A review of the literature on Aboriginal education, expert interviews with practitioners working with Aboriginal students in B.C., Saskatchewan and Yukon, were undertaken for this research. The research examines successful innovations, and barriers identified in the literature and noted by interview participants. From this, two policy approaches were identified that could be adopted to mitigate disparities—tripartite agreements and a voluntary incentive-based approach pursued by the federal Aboriginal Affairs ministry where tripartite agreements are inappropriate.
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