Quebec's Distressing Aboriginal Dropout Rate: C.D. Howe Institute

TORONTO, April 28 /CNW/ - Quebec's Aboriginal poverty is severe, and the large gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal education levels is the most important factor in explaining it, concludes a report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In Aboriginal Education in Quebec: A Benchmarking Exercise, John Richards, a professor at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, examines the relationship between education levels and employment - for Quebec Aboriginals. Comparing outcomes within the province's Aboriginal identity groups to results for other Quebecers, and for Canadians overall, Richards finds that the province's Aboriginal education outcomes rank below the Canadian average, which itself is disturbingly low. Richards makes six broad recommendations to address the crisis in Aboriginal education - in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Professor Richards, who is the Roger Phillips Scholar of Social Policy at the Institute, notes that the overall Quebec Aboriginal dropout rate in the age 20-to-24 cohort is 43 percent, 28 points higher than for non-Aboriginal Quebecers, and three points higher than the Aboriginal dropout rate in the rest of Canada. Among the six provinces with more than 100,000 Aboriginals, Quebec ranks third in terms of incomplete high school: lower than Manitoba and Saskatchewan but higher than Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. Within Quebec, median Aboriginal 2005 earnings were two-thirds that for non-Aboriginals; median Inuit earnings were below three-fifths of non-Aboriginals'.

For the study go to:

SOURCE C.D. Howe Institute

For further information:

John Richards, Professor, School of Public Policy,        
Simon Fraser University,           
Colin Busby, Senior Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe        
Institute, 416-865-1904, email:



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