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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

More Educational Opportunities for Indigenous Students

Ontario Increasing Access to Culturally Appropriate Postsecondary Education

Ontario is working with Aboriginal Institutes to give more Indigenous students access to culturally appropriate postsecondary education and training opportunities across the province.

Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, was at First Nations Technical Institute today to make the announcement.

Ontario is providing more support for Aboriginal Institutes to help them expand their capacity as a distinct and complementary pillar of Ontario's postsecondary education system. Aboriginal institutes partner with colleges and universities to offer degree programs, apprenticeship programs, certificate programs, and diplomas in culturally appropriate and safe learning environments.

Many Indigenous students face unique financial and other barriers to postsecondary education and training. Ontario is working with its Indigenous partners to implement an Indigenous Education Strategy to increase Indigenous peoples' access, participation and success in postsecondary education and training.

Improving outcomes for Indigenous learners in postsecondary education and training is one of the many steps on Ontario's journey of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. As part of  The Journey Together: Ontario's Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, this initiative reflects the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.

Quick Facts:

  • Over the next three years, Ontario will invest $56 million in Aboriginal Institutes to help them expand their capacity.
  • There are nine Aboriginal Institutes in Ontario, located around the province, that receive funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
  • Aboriginal Institutes currently offer postsecondary education and training programs to more than 1,000 students annually.
  • On average, about 300 learners graduate from Aboriginal Institutes every year.
  • In June 2015, Ontario committed to recognizing Aboriginal Institutes as part of Ontario’s postsecondary education and training system, responding to the Aboriginal Institutes Consortium 2014 policy paper The Road to Recognition.
  • With the $56 million announced today, Ontario’s funding to Aboriginal Institutes will have quadrupled since 2014-15.

Additional Resources:


Quotes:


"Aboriginal Institutes in Ontario offer important pathways for Indigenous learners to successfully advance their educational and career goals in culturally appropriate and safe learning environments that are close to home and run and governed by Indigenous communities. Aboriginal Institutes and the Ontario government are jointly committed to recognizing Aboriginal Institutes as full partners within the Ontario postsecondary education system, and we are working together to achieve this transformative change."

— Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

"I’m proud to support Ontario investments in Aboriginal Institutes to improve access to post-secondary education and create new training opportunities for Indigenous students. Education is an important part of reconciliation, which is why we must work together to remove barriers and create culturally relevant learning spaces. Aboriginal Institutes play a significant role in this work and are key to improving educational outcomes and closing the gaps faced by Indigenous students."

— David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

"We are excited to be moving forward and working with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development to provide important pathways for Indigenous learners to successfully advance their educational and career goals. For many years, Aboriginal Institutes in Ontario have served and graduated thousands of Indigenous learners from First Nation communities across the province, many of whom would not have otherwise pursued or attained postsecondary education. We are very encouraged by this historic financial commitment. It demonstrates a strong signal of Ontario’s commitment to partner with us as we strive to better meet the higher education needs of Indigenous learners in our communities."

— Rosie S. Mosquito, Chair of the Aboriginal Institutes’ Consortium

Media Contacts:

Jasmine Irwin
Minister’s Office
416-326-2234
Jasmine.Irwin@ontario.ca

Tanya Blazina
Communications Branch
416-325-2746
Tanya.Blazina@ontario.ca
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