UBC Graduate Research

An investment in return : supporting aboriginal learners in the public school system Kemp, Doris Beverly


British Columbia's education system has failed and continues to fail BC's Aboriginal students. This situation continues to be exacerbated as more and more Aboriginal families move away from reserves to urban centres. This paper first examines data from both the BC Ministry of Education's 2007 report titled, "How Are We Doing?" and independent sources which clearly indicate how poorly Aboriginal students are faring in the public school system in comparison to their non-Aboriginal peers. The paper then provides an historical overview of how residential schools, in their policy to assimilate Aboriginal students, contributed to the children's loss of language, culture, and a sense of identity. Aboriginal students today continue to struggle in a mainstream system that some Aboriginal researchers and educators refer to as a system of cognitive imperialism. The paper concludes with a review of the research which suggest changes that need to occur for Aboriginal children to experience the same success in the Canadian education system as their non-Aboriginal peers.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada