Indigenous student education

Our position

 

Indigenous peoples face significant barriers to postsecondary education. As a result, far fewer First Nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada have a university degree than non-Indigenous Canadians. Education is vital to the reconciliation process and universities are committed to helping Indigenous students achieve their potential through higher education.

Universities help advance reconciliation by revitalizing Indigenous languages, ensuring Indigenous representation in governance and leadership structures, and bringing Indigenous knowledge and culture to campus. Still much more remains to be done. Universities Canada is working with partners in government to encourage more support for Indigenous students to access and succeed at higher education.

“The Indigenous population is growing six times faster than the non-Indigenous population in Canada — we need to draw on the talents and knowledge of this new generation.”

By the numbers

  • 86%
    of universities offer targeted services

    These services include academic counselling and peer mentorship to meet the unique needs of Indigenous students.

    Source: Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 2015.
  • 69%
    of universities offer transition programs

    These include outreach programs in Indigenous communities, academic support and mentorship for Indigenous students starting as early as the elementary school level.

    Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 2015.
  • 33%
    increase of targeted programs

    Universities offer 233 undergraduate and 62 graduate programs on Indigenous issues or for Indigenous students - a 33% increase since 2013.

    Source: Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 2015.

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