B.E.A.R. – Building Empowerment, Attaining Rewards

Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology
S. Fraser
D. Powless
A. O'Bonsawin
A. Yamada
Reference Number
It is time to take a candid look at the reasons for why First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) students do not achieve the same levels of success in post-secondary schools as their non-FNMI peers. By tracking long-term and widespread deficiencies in the administration, funding and evaluation of FNMI education, it is clear that an astounding lack of oversight has directly impacted the quality of education that FNMI students who live both on and off reserve receive from kindergarten to grade twelve. When these students are sponsored by their communities – at a considerable expense – to attend post-secondary institutions, several issues become apparent. Firstly, the majority of FNMI students who enroll in post-secondary programs are under-prepared, particularly in English and math. Even when these students have attained a high school diploma, their academic skills are up to two grades below the levels required for many post-secondary programs; in addition, many FNMI students speak a first language other than English and struggle with ESL issues. Within the first few weeks of classes, it is understandable that these students often feel completely overwhelmed and discouraged...