Reports & Data
State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada
For generations, Aboriginal people in Canada have understood the role that learning plays in building healthy individuals and thriving communities. Despite their cultural and historical differences, Canada’s 1.1 million First Nations, Inuit and Métis people share a common vision of learning as a holistic, lifelong process.
Governments, Aboriginal organizations and communities are increasingly making decisions and developing policies that reflect a better understanding of this Aboriginal perspective. However, these decisions still typically rely on conventional measurement approaches that offer a limited—and incomplete—view of the state of Aboriginal learning in Canada.
Watch the press conference for this landmark report.
In Canada, measurement approaches are typically built upon a partial understanding of Aboriginal learning, often choosing to concentrate on high-school completion rates (or the lack thereof). The problem with such approaches is that they overlook many aspects of learning that are integral to an Aboriginal perspective and important to Aboriginal learners and the communities they live in.
Canada is not alone in this regard. In an August 2009 report, the United Nations stated “it is of utmost importance that Governments, indigenous peoples, donors and civil society organizations work together to ensure that special [measurement] approaches are devised to coincide with the aspirations of indigenous peoples… .”[ 1 ]
Without a complete understanding of Aboriginal people’s perspective on learning and a comprehensive, culturally appropriate framework for measuring it, the diverse needs and ambitions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis will continue to be misinterpreted and misunderstood.
Until now, a comprehensive framework for measuring Aboriginal learning has been unavailable in Canada, or, in fact, most of the world. The State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada: A Holistic Approach to Measuring Success represents the first application of such a framework and marks an innovative approach to measuring Aboriginal learning in Canada.
The report and the information it presents are the result of the Holistic Lifelong Learning Measurement Framework, a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind means of measuring Aboriginal learning in Canada.
Holistic Lifelong Learning Measurement Framework (PDF, 751 KB)
The new framework incorporates elements common to all three learning models, while acknowledging elements that are unique to the learning perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. It also provides a shared tool for monitoring progress in Aboriginal communities for future years.
Each component of the framework includes a set of indicators that contribute to a more complete assessment of Aboriginal learning. Taken together, these indicators illustrate the full range of learning opportunities that occur across the life cycle (from infancy through to the senior years) and in a variety of settings (school, home, community, workplace and the land).
By providing a more balanced understanding of Aboriginal learning, this report offers a new narrative that supersedes the familiar storyline that concentrates on learning deficits and academic shortcomings.
This new expanded approach will, for the first time, provide Aboriginal communities across Canada with a comprehensive picture of both their learning strengths and challenges. It will also hopefully give decision-makers and policy makers a new starting point in which to affect real change.
Are you a fan of CCL’s Aboriginal Holistic Lifelong Learning Models? Now you have a new place to express your appreciation—Facebook. CCL now has a Facebook page for its First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning Models, and it’s the perfect place for individuals and organizations to share their experiences using the innovative and internationally acclaimed models. Just click on the link, become a fan, and head to the Discussion Forum to share your experiences using the models; whether it’s related to teacher training, community planning, curriculum development, measurement purposes or simply personal reflections.
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