Background Content

Education (6-12)

Colleges and Institutes Canada

January 1, 1970

Colleges and institutes across Canada are the primary access point to post-secondary education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis learners, and are deeply engaged in advancing reconciliation and empowering communities. They work in close partnership with local Indigenous communities to remove barriers to education for learners and promote a culture of respect and inclusion.

Their unique presence in northern and remote communities, reaching well beyond large urban centres, allows colleges and institutes to forge strong partnerships with Indigenous communities all across Canada.

  1. 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)
  2. Over 50 colleges and institutes have signed CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol.
  3. 80 colleges and institutes across the country offer Indigenous-specific education programs.
  4. 90 colleges and institutes offer adapted support services for Indigenous students.
    CICAN website, February 2018

Colleges and institutes are also the main providers of adult education and upskilling programs that are key to breaking down barriers to postsecondary education. This is especially important for Indigenous people since the percentage of Indigenous men and women aged 25-64 without a high school diploma stands at 26%, more than twice that of non-Indigenous Canadians (11%).

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of population, 2016