More aboriginal students finishing school

Aboriginal student completion rates in the Vernon School District are at a six-year high.

Aboriginal student completion rates in the Vernon School District are at a six-year high.

The completion rate for aboriginal students over the last six years has been 71 per cent. The provincial rate is 61 per cent.

“It has been 100 years since OKIB member Harry Harris became the first member to attend public high school in Vernon,” said Byron Louis, Okanagan Indian Band chief.

“I’m so pleased to see more and more of our young people walk across that graduation stage and on to the next stage of their lives. We honour the hard work of our students, their families and thank all of their teachers and support staff.”

School district officials are also pleased with the outcome.

“We value the work done by our aboriginal education department and our students and their families,” said Kelly Smith, board chairperson.

“By working together, we look ahead to a higher completion rate this year.”

Another partner in promoting education is the First Nations Friendship Centre, which represents the urban aboriginal population.

“We celebrate the work of all involved with helping, guiding, teaching and supporting aboriginal students to succeed in the Vernon School District and most importantly, the aboriginal students themselves for their hard work and efforts to overcome any barriers they may have had to, in order to achieve graduation,” said Chris Davies, First Nations Friendship Centre president.