Educational Attainment: Communities in Alberta
This section provides further information on educational attainment in First Nations communities in Alberta. Figure 40 shows differences among Treaty areas. Treaty 7 has higher educational attainment with greater proportions of First Nations who have completed high school, trade programs and post-secondary education among its on-reserve population. As Treaty 7 band members are much more likely to reside on-reserve than their counterparts in Treaty 6 and 8, it would be interesting to investigate further to see any possible correlations.
Significant differences exist in terms of educational attainment across communities. Figures 41 to 43 provide information for a number of communities that participated in the 2006 Census. Data for the
smaller communities are not publicly available and are therefore not included. Figure 41 indicates wide differences between many Treaty 6 communities. In Alberta, the best high school completion rate can be found in Alexander, where 57.4 per cent of the population has obtained at least a high school diploma while the remaining 42.6 per cent of the community’s population has not completed high school. This varies considerably from Beaver Lake where 82.6 per cent of the population has not completed high school. Sections 9 and 10 in this report will show that members of Alexander also have relatively high labour force participation and income in comparison with members in other First Nations communities.
Figure 42 shows that wide differences also exist within Treaty 7 communities. High school completion rates vary significantly among the six communities of Treaty 7 who participated in the 2006 Census, ranging from 20 per cent in Big Horn to 54.5 per cent in Piikani. University education remains higher in Treaty 7 than in most First Nations communities in Alberta even when the high school completion rates are quite low. For example, in Big Horn, where 80 per cent of the population has not completed high school, the proportion with university education is similar to the communities with better educational outcomes within Treaty 7, for example, Piikani and Blood communities.
Differences in high school graduation rates within Treaty 8 are quite significant. They range from roughly half of the population in Swan River to 84.1 per cent in Dene Tha’ who have not completed high school. Many communities within the Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council have fairly similar results. Data for a number of small communities within Treaty 8 are withheld from the public domain.