Key Policy Issues in Aboriginal Education: An Evidence-Based Approach (2012)

This document is housed on the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) server.

The report was commissioned by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) to find better ways to collect data and develop evidence that can be used to support efforts to improve the academic achievement of Aboriginal students in elementary and secondary schools across the country.

The first part of the report identifies gaps in the process of collecting data; in the availability of results from jurisdiction-wide assessments for Aboriginal students; and in the collection of data about particular barriers to Aboriginal student success, including absenteeism and transitions between school systems. Specifically, the authors note that there is little evidence available to allow the assessment of the role of targeted funding for Aboriginal education; the effects of early childhood education programs; the effectiveness of specific interventions to increase parental and community engagement with the educational system; and the impact of language and culture supports on other academic outcomes.

In the second part of the report, the authors outline several steps that jurisdictions could take to address these data and evidence gaps. One key area is the need to use a standardized Aboriginal identifier that distinguishes between on- and off-reserve First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students, and investigates changes in rates of Aboriginal self-identification.

Other recommendations include reporting educational attainment separately for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students; administering standardized tests in numeracy and literacy annually to all students in multiple grades; conducting annual assessments of early childhood development among kindergarten students; reporting attendance data; and developing and reporting such school-environment indicators as the number of Aboriginal teachers and administrators, availability of traditional language instruction, and knowledge and attitudes of teachers and administrators.

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APA citation
Jane Friesen and Brian Krauth. Key Policy Issues in Aboriginal Education: An Evidence-Based Approach 2012. Web. 27 Nov. 2021 <>
Jane Friesen & Brian Krauth (2012). Key Policy Issues in Aboriginal Education: An Evidence-Based Approach. Retrieved November 27, 2021, from
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