OTTAWA – Canada’s universities are very pleased with today’s announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo of a landmark agreement that will lead to significant investments in First Nations education at the K-12 level.
“This new, collaborative approach to transforming Aboriginal education will help today’s First Nations students – and future generations – achieve their potential through education,” says David Barnard, president of the University of Manitoba and chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “By enhancing the quality of education in the early, middle and high school years, university and college preparedness, enrolment and graduation rates will be improved.”
AUCC is a strategic partner of the AFN in improving accessibility and success for Aboriginal students in higher education. In consultation and partnership with Indigenous communities, Canada’s universities have made enhancements in programming and curricula to better meet the needs of Aboriginal students. This includes community outreach and mentorship activities for young Aboriginals starting as early as their elementary grades, to help them succeed at school and see a brighter future through education.
“We commend both Chief Atleo and Prime Minister Harper for their leadership and perseverance in making real change happen,” says Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “Closing the education gap in Canada is in the interest of all Canadians. This new agreement is important in ensuring that Indigenous people can fully share in the high quality of life that Canada affords.”
Both Mr. Davidson and Dr. Barnard, as well as several other university presidents, attended today’s announcement at Kainai High School in Stand Off, Alberta.
AUCC is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges.
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