Globally, an estimated 250 million children are unable to read. Within Canada, the legacy of colonization has created a two-tiered system where many Indigenous children are denied access to quality education. This is due to a combination of factors including chronic underfunding and geographical isolation.
Literacy levels are connected to the most pressing social and economic issues: unemployment, poverty, homelessness, health, rates of incarceration, social assistance and child well-being. Low literacy levels also influence employment potential, standard of living and one’s ability to fully participate in society. These factors all increase the barriers for indigenous children and families to succeed in life.