Federal committees looking at graduation rates of Indigenous students 

Graduation rates and how to improve them for Indigenous students continue under the microscope at the Indigenous and Northern Affairs committee.

The Nunavut Arctic College serves the largest post-secondary region in Canada and one of its longest-running courses is the teacher’s education program.

President Rebecca Mearns said one of the challenges for students is the support for basic needs.

“Whether it comes down to food insecurity within the home, obviously many of our students are reliant upon student funding, financial assistance while they’re attending school and we all know the cost of living continues to increase and the cost of food continues to increase,” she told the committee.

Senate committee in MMIWG

The Senate’s committee on Indigenous Peoples heard from witnesses about how to implement the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing or Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls for the establishment of an Ombudsperson, to help create a National Indigenous and Human Rights Tribunal.

According to Pam Hrick, executive director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, these are critical recommendations that need action.

“I think it is embarrassing that we are approaching the four-year anniversary of the release of the report from the inquiry and that is bringing attention, another recommendation, and yet another report that has been commissioned that has not been acted upon.”

The federal government announced in its 2023 budget $2.5 million over five years to support the National Action Plan on “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ People.”

The budget describes it as providing a forum to discuss and act on initiatives such as a “Red Dress Alert” to notify the public when and Indigenous woman or two-spirit person goes missing.

The measure is part of a $125 million envelope of funding for other measures related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

With files from the Canadian Press


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