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Inequality Between Aboriginals And Non Aboriginals Living In Canada

998 words - 4 pages

It can be said without a doubt that the indigenous peoples of Canada have had to undergo much turmoil in order to reach the point that they are at today. When one looks at the timeline of events and the laws implemented since the arrival of the Europeans in North America it can be considered a miracle that so many aspects of the rich culture and tradition of these people have survived to see today. It is a blessing that these people have been able to pass down the languages, cultural and societal beliefs, as well as their stories from generation to generation so that the people of North America and the world today may be able to know and study these civilized and multifaceted cultures. The First Nations people of Canada have had to go through many types of oppression since the arrival of the settlers. And even though society has slowly made strides in the right direction in respect to eliminating the oppression on aboriginal peoples there still remains a vast inequality between the aboriginals of Canada and that of their counterparts of European descent in the forms of their educational differences which lead to difficulties in employment as well as an increased crime rate.
There is a vast inequality between the education of an aboriginal and that of a non-aboriginal person. “Only 31 percent – about half the Canadian average – of the Aboriginal on-reserve population has a high school education” (Center for Social Justice, 2011). This is a staggering number when we stop to consider how hard it is in our society to become successful in life when one does not have at least a high school education. In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms every citizen of Canada is guaranteed an education and yet the students on these reserves are not getting that. In fact, “first nations youth in Canada are more likely to be incarcerated than to graduate from high school” (Canadian Council for Social Development, 2011). So if these students are guaranteed an education and only 31% are graduating then we must ask ourselves just why that is. Is it perhaps because “until very recently, First Nations schools did not receive funding to provide services for students” (Kavanagh, 2006) in schools on reserves, or rather because the aboriginal students in schools off reserve they are “inevitably treated as outsiders” (Kuokkanen, 2007). So when First Nations students try to gain their ‘guaranteed’ education on reserve—in a setting where they are presumably most comfortable as they are able to learn more about their own cultures when compared to off reserve schools—they are not given the funding to have the same opportunities as in a school located off of a reserve. And yet still when they go off reserve to acquire their education they are treated as if they should not be there. In all reality it can be said that anyone in the same situation would drop out of school as well as they are receiving a compromised education either way.
The purpose of education is to...

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