Under the Sask. Party, Indigenous students are falling behind

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Education Critic Matt Love, Advanced Education Critic Jennifer Bowes, and First Nations and Metis Relations Critic Betty Nippi-Albright responded to the Provincial Auditor’s 2023 Report that condemned Scott Moe’s Sask. Party government for failing Indigenous students.

“For years, this Sask. Party government suggested their education plans were oven-ready when in reality they’re half-baked,” said Love. “How are Indigenous students supposed to succeed if the Sask. Party government won’t come up with a real plan with real targets? Teachers and school administrators are giving it their all but feel the government is working against them with all these funding cuts.”

According to the Provincial Auditor, the Ministry of Education lacks specific targets for Indigenous student success, including grade-level performance in reading, writing and math. The high-school graduation rate for Indigenous students is 44.7% and has not increased since 2018. The graduation rate of non-Indigenous students is 88.7%. 

The Auditor also found that Sask Polytechnic lacks specific targets for Indigenous student success and has seen Indigenous enrollment decline by 30% since 2018. 

“Indigenous people are the fastest growing demographic in Saskatchewan and this government is not setting Indigenous youth up for success,” said Bowes. “They’re watching their peers walk across the stage, graduate and go on to good jobs without them. This government is failing to ensure effective recruitment and retention strategies are in place for Indigenous students and that is simply unacceptable.”

“Frankly, the fact this Sask. Party government lacks any specific measures and targets for Indigenous students shows just how little they care. We’re lacking the kind of supports needed to ensure we are setting Indigenous students up for success,” said Nippi-Albright. “They also need to listen to the Auditor and to Indigenous people and start requiring proof of Indigenous identity for staff at our colleges and universities.”

The Official Opposition calls on the Government of Saskatchewan to immediately commit to implementing all recommendations in chapters 3 and 5 of the Auditor’s Report. 

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