Graduation rates for indigenous students in School District 27 and School District 28 have increased.
SD 27 Principal of First Nations Education, David DeRose says there has been a 69% completion rate in the 2017-18 school year compared to a 61% rate in previous years.
“I’m feeling good but we still have a long way to go,” he said.
“I would like to see our First Nation students on par with the non-Aboriginal students who are at about 80 percent.”
DeRose said that indigenizing education continues to be a priority for SD 27 and that they’re hoping to integrate First Nations content into all curricular areas. The five-year project is currently in its second year.
“We’re also putting in for a special hiring exemption from the human rights tribunal and will be putting forth a proposal to them with preferential hiring to First Nations people. We’re hoping to have that done by June.”
DeRose said the intergenerational trauma of residential schools is causing their biggest setback.
In SD 28, the 2017/18 six-year completion rates for Aboriginal students is up to 71.5 %.
“This is up from 2016/17 when the completion rate was 67.5 %,” said Quesnel School District, Superintendent of Schools Sue-Ellen Miller.
Rates have also improved provincially with the Province’s Ministry of Education stating that the Indigenous student six-year completion rate increased by 4% over the previous year.
“This is the largest one-year increase since 2010-11, with 70% of Indigenous students completing secondary school, and an 8% improvement over the last four years,” it said in a news release.