In February 2009, CMEC organized a Summit on Aboriginal Education, where provincial and territorial ministers responsible for education, leaders of the five national Aboriginal organizations, more than 40 representatives of regional Aboriginal organizations, representatives from the federal government, and provincial and territorial ministers responsible for Aboriginal affairs discussed ways to improve Aboriginal outcomes in education.


The summit was organized around five key objectives:

  1. to raise the public profile of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education and to promote awareness of the need to eliminate the gaps in education outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners at the elementary-secondary and postsecondary levels;
  2. to engage and build support for partnerships, based on dialogue and engagement strategies, with national and regional Aboriginal organizations;
  3. to identify potential areas for action to meet the goals of Learn Canada 2020;
  4. to engage with the federal government on Aboriginal education and to discuss opportunities to develop strategies to effect policy change; and
  5. to build intergovernmental networks for future dialogue, collaboration, and opportunities to work together on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education.

Discussion at the summit centred around eight themes:

  1. strengthening Aboriginal language and culture;
  2. enhancing equity in funding;
  3. increasing access, retention, and graduation (postsecondary education and adult learning);
  4. sharing responsibility and accountability;
  5. planning for transitions: seamless systems for learners;
  6. reporting and benchmarking success: data;
  7. providing programs and services; and
  8. engaging all partners in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education.


The outcomes of the CMEC Summit on Aboriginal Education are summarized in a report entitled CMEC Summit on Aboriginal Education: Strengthening Aboriginal Success — Summary Report.