Policy Sectors

Education and Early Learning Development

NWAC sees education as a practice of freedom that empowers Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people to achieve their aspirations and contribute to their communities, nations, and societies.

Our goals are to:

  • Greater investment in education, infrastructure and services are necessary to improve the quality of education provided to Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people.
  • Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people need to control the development, implementation, and content taught in their education systems.
  • Canada must develop an Indigenous education act that recognizes Indigenous people as the sole director of their own education.

Summary:

Indigenous education is a life-long process built on the values and practices informed by Indigenous cultures, languages, and histories. Unlike other education systems, Indigenous education encapsulates the emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual dimensions of learning. However, the education of Indigenous communities is often poor, which leads to disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Indigenous women and girls are more likely than others in Canada to attend underfunded schools, which lack basic infrastructure and culturally appropriate resources. For Indigenous women and girls, going to school often means leaving their families and communities to receive an education. But society would feel the benefits of providing Indigenous women and girls with equitable opportunities for education. Closing Canada’s education gap can result in large societal growth.

NWAC understands that ongoing systemic and structural discrimination has caused inadequate funding, facility development, and delivery of education at every level of school. Based on this understanding, NWAC has collaborated with Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people to develop recommendations to improve educational opportunities in Indigenous communities.