Series: Learning Research - HRSDC
Authors: Bagala Biswala
Collection: Research Materials
This document offers an analysis of the literacy, numeracy and problem-solving proficiencies of the working-age Aboriginal population in Canada, based on the findings of the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) conducted in 2003.
The analysis showed that in general, Aboriginal people had lower average scores than non-Aboriginal people. For example, 58 percent of Aboriginal people scored below level 3 in prose literacy, the level required to function effectively in a modern economy, compared to 41 percent of non-Aboriginal people. However, that was largely due to the high proportion of Aboriginal people who scored in the two lower levels of proficiency. In fact, those who scored at the highest literacy proficiency levels had average scores similar to the non-Aboriginal population.
The author raises concern over the very high proportion of Aboriginal youth who scored below level 3. About 65 percent of Aboriginal youth had prose literacy below level 3 compared to only 36 percent for non-Aboriginal youth.
The document also includes analyses of the relative performances of North American Indians, Métis, and Inuit; the link between literacy scores and employment; and the differences in prose literacy performance between men and women.