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First Nations children aged 6 to 14 who lived off reserve were as likely as all children in Canada to be doing well in school (based on parents' knowledge of their child's school work, including report cards).
In 2006, about 7 in 10 off-reserve First Nations children aged 6 to 14 were reported by their parents to be doing very well or well in school. These findings are similar to those for children aged 6 to 14 in the general Canadian population.
First Nations girls were more likely to be reported as doing very well or well in school, as compared with First Nations boys. These findings are also similar to those for the general population in Canada.
Among First Nations girls aged 6 to 14 who lived off reserve, three-quarters were reported by their parents as doing very well or well in school, compared with 65% of their male counterparts.
According to the 2006 Census, there were 78,325 First Nations children aged 6 to 14 living off reserve in Canada. These children represented about 2% of all Canadian children in this age group.
The off-reserve First Nations population is young. Census data showed that in 2006, 19% of the off-reserve First Nations population was between the ages of 6 and 14, compared with 11% of the total Canadian population.
The parents of over 90% of off-reserve First Nations children agreed or strongly agreed that their child's school provided enough information on their child's academic progress, attendance and behaviour.
Similarly, parents of most of these children were satisfied with the level of discipline, the quality of teaching, and the availability of extracurricular activities at their child's school.
This is the second of three reports presenting initial results from the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS), conducted between October 2006 and March 2007. The survey provides extensive data on Inuit, Métis and off-reserve First Nations children aged 6 to 14 and those aged 15 and over living in urban, rural and northern locations across Canada.
This report provides information on the school experiences of First Nations children aged 6 to 14 who are living off reserve. It also examines factors found to be associated with their school achievement, as perceived and reported by parents or guardians who responded on behalf of their child. Findings are representative of the off-reserve First Nations children population in the 10 provinces, and of all First Nations children in the territories.
Comparisons with children aged 6 to 14 in the general population are based on data from Statistics Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth.
The APS was designed to provide data on the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal people in Canada (excluding reserves). It collected information on topics including education, language, labour activity, sources of income, health, communication technology, mobility and housing.
The first report, released on December 3, 2008, focused on the social determinants of Inuit health. The third report will focus on the health of Métis.
The parents of about 83% of children were satisfied with how their child's school was preparing the child to make choices about the future.
Parents of a majority of children agreed or strongly agreed that their child was challenged to work at their full potential (85%), and that their child's school had high academic standards (80%).
A number of factors were associated with perceived achievement at school among off-reserve First Nations children, after holding constant other factors such as gender and age.
Factors associated with relatively high perceived achievement at school included getting along well with teachers, or with friends and classmates; having parents who were strongly satisfied with school practices (such as the school providing information on the child's academic progress, attendance and behaviour); reading books everyday; playing sports at least once a week; or participating in art or music lessons at least once a week.
Higher household income was also found to be associated with better school achievement. All other factors being equal, off-reserve First Nations children who were in households in the highest household income range were more likely to be doing very well or well at school than children who were in the lowest range.
Factors associated with relatively low perceived achievement at school included having missed school for a period of two or more weeks in a row during the school year; having been diagnosed with a learning disability or with attention deficit disorder; and having parents who had attended residential schools.
Off-reserve First Nations children whose parents had attended residential schools were less likely to do very well or well than those whose parents had not. About 12% of off-reserve First Nations children had parents (one or both) who indicated that they had been students in the residential school system that operated across Canada between 1830 and the 1990s.
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3250.
The publications Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2006 : Concepts and Methods Guide, 2006, no. 3 (89-637-XWE2008003; free), Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2006 : School Experiences of Off-Reserve First Nations Children Aged 6 to 14, 2006, no. 1 (89-637-XWE2009001; free), and Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2006 : School Experiences of Off-Reserve First Nations Children Aged 6 to 14: Fact Sheet, 2006, no. 3 (89-637-XWE2009003; free), are now available from the Publications module of our website.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Media Relations (613-951-4636; email@example.com), Communications and Library Services Division.