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9. Publish annual reports on education funding and educational and income attainments

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The federal government (or arms of the government) has published versions of these reports, but they’re not annual, nor are they complete.

The Call to Action:

We call upon the federal government to prepare and publish annual reports comparing funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves, as well as educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with non-Aboriginal people.


The federal government (or arms of the government) has published versions of these reports, but they’re not annual, nor are they complete.

In December 2016, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported there was a educational funding gap of an estimated $665 million. That gap represents the difference between how much the former Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (now Indigenous Services Canada) funded on-reserve schools, and the funding that occurs between provincially run public schools.

The PBO report determined the funding shortfall was a result of INAC’s underfunding the high costs of operating small schools in remote Northern regions, leaving those schools with fewer resources, high teacher turnover (due to low salaries) and a shortage of basic school supplies, like up-to-date text books.

In November 2016, the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board, which acts as an advisor to the federal government, released a report citing a $27.7 billion economic gap in education and employment outcomes for Indigenous Canadians and non-Indigenous Canadians.

The report, called Reconciliation: Growing Canada’s Economy by $27.7 Billion, took into account three things:

  • First, the estimated number of Indigenous people with income, and how much more they’d make if their income matched that of Canada’s non-Indigenous workforce.
  • It also calculated the impact of tapping into the currently unemployed Indigenous population, giving them the resources and education to become employed, to the point where the Indigenous employment rate would match the non-Indigenous employment rate.
  • The report then factored in the potential savings to the government by eliminating the costs of poverty, that would result with the improved educational and employment rates.

In total, the report determined the government is losing out on an annual $27.7 billion boost to the economy.

In 2018, the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board released an updated report, stating that “in order to have access to as many opportunities as possible, more partnerships between the federal government and academic institutions are needed. This will ensure that First Nations youth can access higher education without leaving their community or relocating.”

The 2016 census on Canada’s Aboriginal population, which included data on education and employment, was released in October 2017. The next Canada census is scheduled for 2021.