District principal of Indigenous education Greg Johnson (right), educators and mentors talk about work on preserving local indigenous language to the board of education at meeting earlier this year. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Indigenous students grad rates on the rise

Stats show last year with the largest one-year increase since 2010-11

Indigenous students are completing secondary school here and around the province more than ever before.

A Dec. 11 news release from the Ministry of Education shows more students complete school now in part due to increased supports and a curriculum that has evolved to reflect Indigenous history in B.C.

“For too long, Indigenous students in B.C. were held back by a school system that didn’t reflect their history, honour their communities or meet their needs,” Minister of Education Rob Fleming said in the news release. “It’s inspiring to see how quickly Indigenous students respond when we begin to bring down barriers to their success. Their achievements are an important reminder of why we can’t rest until our schools support every student, no matter where they live.”

The data show in the last school year in B.C., the six-year completion rate increased by 4 per cent over the previous year, making it the largest one-year increase since 2010-11. This translates into 70 per cent of Indigenous students completing secondary school, and an 8 per cent increase over the last four years.

Campbell River school district’s principal of Indigenous education Greg Johnson cautions that at the local level the numbers can fluctuate more, but they generally follow the overall

“The record is improving and it mirrors the province,” he said. “We are increasing the size of our grad classes,” he said.

Johnson cautions that year-to-year completion rates do not tell the whole story. The important thing is progress over time, especially considering how the education system has changed. Locally, the district has an advisory council that includes members from local bands but also representatives for urban First Nations people and Metis from the North Island.

RELATED STORY: All Campbell River school district leads the way with indigenous training for staff

The curriculum too has evolved, with more opportunities to incorporate First Nations culture into the classroom.

“I see schools focusing on our Indigenous students way more,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Vikes coach joining Team Canada at Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Two-time Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff named to coaching staff

The Music of Cream touring band more than a tribute act

Ginger Baker’s son Kofi, Clapton’s nephew Will joined by rock stalwarts for 50th anniversary tour

Nainamo grew faster than Greater Victoria in 2019

Other Vancouver Island communities also recorded growth, but at lower rates

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citizenship, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

Most Read