7.5.4 Percentage of First Nations students aged 12 to 17 years who were happy at school and felt that students enjoyed being at school by the school’s support of First Nations culture, Canada, 2013-2015

Happy at school Enjoy being at school
School supports First Nations culture 84.5 76.8
School does not support First Nations culture 73.7 63.5

The youth survey covered First Nations youth 12-17 years old, and therefore represents a large proportion of the school-aged population living on reserve and in northern First Nations communities.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from the First Nations Information Governance Centre, Our Data, Our Stories, Our Future: The National Report of the First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey, (Ottawa: 2016). 104 pages.

Between 2013-2015, 85% of First Nations youth aged 12 to 17 who agreed or strongly agreed that their school supported First Nations culture were happy at school.

This compares to 74% of those who did not think that their school was supportive of First Nations culture.

Furthermore, 77% of students who felt that their school supported First Nations culture agreed or strongly agreed that students at their school enjoyed being there.

This compares to 64% of those who did not feel that their school was supportive of First Nations culture.

If students are in schools that support First Nations culture, they are more likely to be happy at school and enjoy being there. Including Indigenous culture and language in education is associated with improved developmental and academic outcomes for Indigenous students.1 While the issues affecting Indigenous students and learning are complicated and longstanding – such as intergenerational poverty and trauma – they do not necessarily prevent Indigenous students from succeeding in education. As well as being respected and supported at school, Indigenous children and youth want and need to learn about their cultures, histories and languages. By partnering with Indigenous community members and leader, teachers and schools can incorporate these learnings.2

1National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. (2017). Infographic: Education as a social determinant of First Nations, Inuit and Métis health. Data from Chiefs Assembly on education. A portrait of First Nations and education. 2011.
2Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2017). Promising practices in supporting success for Indigenous students. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264279421-en

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