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Promising Practices in Supporting Success for Indigenous Students

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Indigenous peoples are diverse, within and across nations. However, Indigenous peoples have experienced colonisation processes that have undermined Indigenous young people’s access to their identity, language and culture. At the same time, Indigenous children have not generally had access to the same quality of education that other children in their country have had access to. These two forces in combination have undermined the educational opportunities and outcomes of successive generations of Indigenous children and young people, at times with catastrophic effect.

The six Canadian provinces and territories that participated in this study, along with New Zealand and Queensland (Australia), are actively seeking to better meet the educational needs and aspirations of Indigenous students and their families.

The report seeks to identify promising strategies, policies, programmes and practices that support improved learning outcomes for Indigenous students and to build an empirical evidence base on Indigenous students in education. The study investigates four areas in Indigenous education: well-being, participation, engagement and achievement in education. These outcomes are inter-connected and mutually reinforcing, and each is essential for the success of every student.

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Executive summary

Four Canadian provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) and two territories (Northwest Territories and Yukon) participated in this study, along with New Zealand and Queensland (Australia).1 They all are actively seeking to better meet the educational needs and aspirations of Indigenous students and their families, reflecting the priority each of these jurisdictions places on improving outcomes for Indigenous peoples. This also recognises the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, which all three countries have endorsed.

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