Why are dropout rates higher in Aboriginal communities than in the rest of Canada?

by audreynoiseux on October 5, 2017 - 1:04am

On average, Aboriginal people in Quebec are less well educated than all Aboriginal Canadians, who are themselves less well educated than all Canadians. In Quebec, the proportion of Aboriginal people is almost three times greater than elsewhere in Canada, and a larger proportion of First Nations people lives on reserves. The poverty among the Aboriginal people is increasing in Canada. This meaningful issue is one of the main cause of school dropout of the Aboriginal people. Clearly, the well-known fact is that the gab between the level of education of Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people divides these two communities. This difference defines the main cause of the higher dropout rates. While observing the school results of Aboriginal people to non-Aboriginal people from Canada, the results of Aboriginal people are drastically under the national average (École branchée, 2011).  Sadly, this information confirms the idea that the dropout rates in Aboriginal people from Canada are much higher than the rest of Canada. This statement and ways for it to be solved will be explained further.


In the actual time, the dropout rate among Aboriginal people in Canada is of 43% while non- Aboriginal is at 15%. The strong difference between these two communities reveals a significant problem for the Canadian population overall. The strong difference between these two populations is because of the participation, socialization and investment. While the Aboriginal people live in a community that is influenced by the high alcohol consumption and the dropout background, the Canadian people are surrounded by a social frame that motivates them to pursue their education. For example, Canadians mostly tend to attend to extracurricular activities - such as sports, arts and group activities - that motivate them to be engaged at school. According to Canada’s Statistics, there is a positive correlation between the participation into school extracurricular activities and the school results achievement. For instance, Aboriginal people that do not live in their community tend to be more successful at school, which encourage them to pursue their education further. On women’s side, the engagement to club activities proves that they will be more willing to get their diploma. These facts show that the environment in which students evolve make a big change in their education success. In brief, for Aboriginal people or for Canadian people, the participation in activities has a positive effect on non-dropout tendency. Actually, a recent University of Quebec in Montreal study shows that the participation in extracurricular activities raises the probability to attend university. In resume, the promotion of extracurricular activities is often mentioned as a strategy that can help prevent early school dropout. In fact, if off-reserve Aboriginal youth have academic difficulties or are isolated, perhaps the benefits of extracurricular activities are greater for them. However, it is clear that, in general, extracurricular activities develop students' sense of belonging and foster relationships with different groups of friends. Indeed, students in difficulty receive the most benefits of it. That’s why Aboriginal people, who have lived in hard lifestyle, would be more inclined to succeed in school if they have motivation.


Recognizing that education is a certain lever for Canadian Aboriginal people towards better living conditions, several recommendations must be make. For example, Aboriginal people, living on reserve or elsewhere, should have access to pre-school and primary education. Also, provincial Minister of Education should allow school districts to take discretionary initiatives in Aboriginal education. Finally, provinces should take more vigorous measures to encourage post-secondary Aboriginal students education.













I think you could be interrested into an organization that is working with young students that do not have much money/support from their family, helping out with basics of life and keeping up with school.

About the author

I recently took a year off to travel and volunteer, since then, my perspective of the world completely changed and so did I. I feel that I can now adapt to almost any situation, I enjoy meeting new people and am very easy going.