The purpose of this project was to improve policy concerning Aboriginal education by facilitating a meeting between government officials, Aboriginal communities and funding organizations. These groups intended to identify a way forward for improving educational results in Aboriginal communities at a national policy roundtable which was attended by 13 regional and national Aboriginal groups and organizations, 6 universities, 10 provincial and territorial departments of education, 2 school boards, 3 federal departments or agencies, and 8 other organizations. Participants addressed six key issues, including overlapping jurisdictions, uneven resource allocation, literacy education, hiring and retaining qualified and experienced staff, difficulties in transitioning from elementary to secondary school, and the lack of a national policy to evaluate Aboriginal education. Following the conference, ministries in five provinces developed and published multi-year action plans for improving aboriginal outcomes and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs requested advice from SAEE on putting their strategic plan into effect. Further, the federal government discussed new funds to address infrastructure issues and provincial premiers identified aboriginal success as a priority.
Moving Forward in Aboriginal Education: Proceedings of a national policy roundtable –
This report reproduces the proceedings of the national policy roundtable on Aboriginal education. The conference was held February, 2005 at Concordia University. It brought together 50 leading officials from the federal and provincial/territorial governments, and regional Aboriginal leaders to discuss possible solutions to the failure of Aboriginal education in Canada. The purpose of the conference was to focus on solutions by identifying how much agreement exists on the need for systematic action to improve K-12 aboriginal education. The conference concluded with a set of recommendations for education reform including obtaining better data on the state of aboriginal education, promoting a culture of learning founded in Aboriginal values and culture, improving recruitment, training and support for teachers in Aboriginal communities, and improving communication between federal and provincial/territorial education ministries and Aboriginal communities.