Access to the ARC is Limited to Indigenous Students
The Human Rights Commissioner states the following:
Indigenous learners face multiple barriers to success in post-secondary education. There is a disparity in achievement rates between Indigenous learners and their non-Indigenous counterparts. The lack of Indigenous Knowledge, history and issues in classrooms and other spaces serves to exclude Indigenous learners from having a sense of belonging at college. This is a contributing factor that results in poorer educational outcomes.
Section 42(2) of the Code allows the Tribunal to approve any program that “has as its objective the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups.”
The Aboriginal Centres provide a welcoming and safe environment for Indigenous learners where they may connect with their peers and receive holistic, culturally appropriate support services. This helps to decrease feelings of isolation and exclusion. The services provided through the Centres ultimately result in better educational outcomes for Indigenous students.
CNC has provided letters of support from the Faculty Association of the College of New Caledonia and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 4951.
On the materials before me, I am satisfied the equality-enhancing purposes of the special program are advanced by restricting its provision to the specified group. As a result, I am prepared to grant CNC’s application for special approval under s. 42(3) of the Code. The special program is approved for five years. This approval is effective as of the date of this letter and expires on February 12, 2025. CNC is allowed to limit access to its Aboriginal Centres and the services it offers through those Centres to Indigenous persons only. This will not be considered a contravention of the Code as long as this approval remains in effect.
Please note there are times we welcome the College community to cultural and social events such as crafting activities and potluck lunches; however, at all other times the ARC and its services are reserved as a culturally safe space for Indigenous students.