By Kerry Benjoe, Leader-Post
REGINA — The C.D. Howe Institute says urgent action by the federal government is needed to address the low high-school completion rates for First Nations living on reserve.
In its report Are We Making Progress? New Evidence on Aboriginal Education Outcomes in Provincial and Reserve Schools the author John Richards concludes that on-reserve education is in crisis.
According to the 2011 census results, 58-per-cent of young adults living on-reserve have not completed high school.
Although rates among young First Nation adults living off-reserve improved between the 2006 and 2011 censuses, there was little change among those living on-reserve. However, the incompletion rate among First Nations off reserve is still three times higher than for non-aboriginals and the Metis rate was twice as high.
According to the report, British Columbia and Ontario have made the strongest improvements when it comes to Aboriginal graduation rates and Manitoba has performed by far the worst.
Overall the incompletion rates in the prairie provinces are higher than the national average.
Richards supports Bill C-33 — First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act.
Many chiefs around the country including the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations oppose the bill.