Indigenous Learners

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Indigenous Learners

Fast Facts

  • Indigenous youth are the fastest-growing demographic in Canada – over 400,000 Indigenous youth in Canada will be entering the labour force over the next decade.
  • Colleges and institutes are go-to institutions for Indigenous peoples.
  • Indigenous peoples’ post-secondary attainment rates at the college/institute level are at par with non-Indigenous peoples (21%) and higher in trades credentials at 14% and 12% respectively. (National Household Survey 2011)
  • 80 colleges and institutes across the country offer Indigenous-specific education programs
  • 90 colleges and institutes offer support services for Indigenous students.

Across Canada, colleges and institutes are committed to improving Indigenous education outcomes.

High school attainment rates of Indigenous peoples must be improved. Colleges and institutes contribute through proactive recruitment of First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth to ensure they are aware of post-secondary pathways. Adult basic education programs are essential to enable the high proportion of Indigenous peoples without a high school diploma to make the transition to PSE.


Colleges and institutes offer a diverse range of post-secondary education programs including certificate, diploma, apprenticeship, university transfer, distance and degree programs. The majority of colleges and institutes have Indigenous-specific education and training programs and a growing trend is to embed First Nations, Métis and Inuit traditional knowledge in the curriculum of college and institute programs. Nearly all colleges and institutes offer Indigenous students support services to see them through to graduation and transition into employment.

Partnerships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and Indigenous institutes of higher learning help to address specific community learning needs. Partnerships with industry lead to meaningful employment in Indigenous communities.