Canadian Aboriginal History: "Did You ..
Though educational attainment is lower for Aboriginal children and people than for non-Aboriginal Canadians, there is much work being done to improve the situation. Governmental departments such as the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Development (DIAND) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) have undertaken reports over the last several years that investigate and raise awareness around the reality of Aboriginal education. Similarly, many Aboriginal groups and individuals have taken on the task of advocating for more inclusive education. In 1972, the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) presented a paper entitled Indian Control of Indian Education. The following year, INAC adapted a policy of First Nations local control of education. Similarly, many Universities are implementing Indigenous or Native Studies programs. Trent University offers a Doctorate in Native Studies.
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In order to truly address the education issue for Aboriginal peoples in Canada, there is also a need for improved education of non-Aboriginal children on Canadian history and issues affecting Aboriginal people. Non-Aboriginal people cannot fulfill their treaty responsibilities, work for justice or interact respectfully with Aboriginal people if they do not understand the history of relations between their peoples or the basics of Aboriginal cultures. There are efforts being made to encourage the inclusion of Aboriginal history and cultures in school curriculum by organizations and individuals such as the Indigenous Education Network and the Coalition for the Advancement of Aboriginal Studies. To learn more about the Indigenous Education Network, visit , click “Resources,” click “Education” and scroll down to “Indigenous Education Network. To visit the Coalition for the Advancement of Aboriginal Studies, go to
The legacy of Euro-centric, paternalistic views of the Residential School system continues to effect Aboriginal children today in our schools. There is very little Aboriginal content in school curriculum today. Furthermore, the delivery models used to teach and instruct children are very much based upon European westernized thought and culture. There is a lack of cultural sensitivity and inclusion in our education system. The results of this can be seen in the many studies that have been done on this issue. One such study states that:
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Many employers are currently looking for ways to tap into the skills of potential and underutilized workers. There are numerous employment equity initiatives and policies that are currently being implemented in order to ensure that oppressed people groups have access to work. Both employers and potential employees can educate themselves by becoming involved in such initiatives and lending their support to them. Visit Aboriginal Business Service Network for an example of the efforts being made to remedy the unequal access to employment.
Resources - Reconciliation Australia
In 2001, the then Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Robert Nault, proposed Bill C-7. Bill C-7 was to be the First Nations Governance Act, and would amend parts of the Indian Act that dealt with governance issues. Though it seemed as though someone in government was finally addressing the need for self-governance, there was an outcry from Aboriginal communities and peoples all across Canada. Many Aboriginal people thought that the FNGA "reflect(ed) the same mentality that produced the first Indian Act, the same old Indian Agent thinking” (). It was largely seen as just another attempt to assimilate Aboriginal people into mainstream society.
Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Action Plan
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples identified the need to negotiate and reconcile Aboriginal governments within Canada as one key step towards resolving the concerns of Aboriginal peoples and building a new relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples based on mutual respect, recognition and sharing. Aboriginal peoples are now looking towards and fighting for a future that includes the right to have their beliefs and values at the core of a governing body.
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A 1995 survey found that 77 percent of employers faced challenges in hiring and retaining Aboriginal employees. They cited barriers in the following areas: communication, culture, skills and training, misconceptions. Similarly, low educational attainment affects the participation of Aboriginal and First Nation people in the Canadian labour market.