Key Findings and Conclusions
Overall funding issues – Unlike public post-secondary institutions which receive stable ongoing core funding from the provincial governments, most Aboriginal-controlkled post-secondary education institutes are largely dependent on the entity’s ability to secure grants. The single greatest challenge facing Aboriginal-controlled institutes is the lack of stable core funding.
Identifying the costs of operating Aboriginal institutes – The cost of operating the three IAHLA case study institutes was found to be similar to other non-urban and remote publicly funded institutions offering similar programming. They face the same challenges, largely due to economics of scale.
Business arising from Aboriginal-controlled institutes – Higher levels of education have been directly linked to greater participation in the labour force, lead to higher income levels, and improve economic prosperity. Higher levels of education are also linked to a healthier population, longer life expectancy, and more stable communities. Not closing the education gap for Aboriginal peoples will be costly for Canadian society, both in terms of increased social costs and the lost opportunity to participate in the econonmy.
Building a Legacy – Aboriginal-controlled institutes achieve high completion rates, offer qualified instruction, prvide a high degree of personal support, and a culturally focused curriculum. Results show that this has helped build learners’ self confidence and has assisted in revitalizing Aboriginal language and culture in communities. It is reasonalble to conclude that Aboriginal-controlled institutes in Bc are achiving successful outcomes in meeting learners’ needs.
Government has made investments through the public post-secondary education system in an effort to close the gap between Aboriginal education outcomes and non-Aboriginal outcomes. Aboriginal-controlled institutes play an important role in the post-secondary education sector in BC due to their ability to provide culturally appropriate and supportive, life long learning. If they are more adequately resourced, Aboriginal-controlled institutes can build on their respective legacies and play an important role in closing the education gap in a timely fashion.