The relationship between distance and Indigenous high school completion: StatCan

A recent report by Jaclyn Layton for Statistics Canada examines the impact of distance on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit high school completion rates. Drawing on 2016 Census data and the Remoteness Index Classification, Layton analyzed the relationship between remoteness and high school completion for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people aged 19 to 45. Inuit were the most likely to live in remote or very remote areas (80%), followed by First Nations people (21%), and Métis people (12%); only 3% of non-Indigenous people lived in remote or very remote areas. Within each group, those who lived in an easily accessible area were more likely to have completed a high school diploma than those living in a very remote area. This access was the most important factor overall for high school completion among First Nations people, while the most important determinant for both Inuit and Métis people was living in a higher income household. “These factors are interwoven, as youth who leave home to attend high school may bear a financial and emotional cost” writes Layton. “Taken together, these results indicate that improving access to education within one’s own community is an important factor in decreasing the differences [… in] educational attainment.”