Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2011


Great Plains Research Vol. 21, No. 2, 2011


© 2011 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska- Lincoln


It is a daunting challenge to identify, define, and make sense of First Nations education in Canada. Much of our understanding of current First Nations education is determined by mainstream media. First Nation citizens are continuously reported to be in a deficit compared to their dominant Canadian counterparts. When we take a deeper look into First Nations education, however, we find a great diversity of both successes and challenges, based largely on the fact that there are 614 First Nation communities in Canada. Policies regarding First Nations education have blanketed all regions of Canada from the Maritimes to the Woodlands, Great Plains, and the Northwest Coast. It is the interpretation of policy that drives the procedures and practices that differ from region to region. Each First Nation community has a unique experience with education as each bureaucracy interprets policy and implements programs.