Ontario universities are committed to increasing the numbers and success of Aboriginal learners in postsecondary education. One of the challenges they face in meeting this goal is that identifying ...

Aboriginal Self-Identification Project Final Report

Published: November 6, 2013

Ontario universities are committed to increasing the numbers and success of Aboriginal learners in postsecondary education. One of the challenges they face in meeting this goal is that identifying Aboriginal learners is not a simple task. This project was undertaken to work with the Aboriginal and university communities to better understand barriers to participation in self-identification processes, as well as to provide recommendations to help to encourage higher response rates.

Improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal learners will help to address the socio-economic gap that exists between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, and to ensure that the growing numbers of Aboriginal youth have access to labour market opportunities that increasingly require postsecondary education.
  1. The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Guidelines for Collecting Data on Enumerated Grounds Under the Code explains when it is permissible to collect and analyze data based on “enumerated grounds”, such as race, disability, or sex.

To examine the issue of Aboriginal self-identification, COU engaged with more than 200 Aboriginal learners from the primary, secondary and postsecondary education sectors between September 2012 and November 2012.
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