Highest number of aboriginal students attend University of Saskatchewan
The Peter MacKinnon Building overlooks the Bowl on the University of Saskatchewan campus.
Aboriginal students are hitting the books in record numbers at the University of Saskatchewan.
The university said Thursday that data shows 1,999 students -- about 10 per cent of the total student body -- declared their aboriginal ancestry this academic term.
Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, the university's director of aboriginal initiatives, said that means the gap is closing between the number of aboriginal students and the aboriginal population in the province.
Statistics Canada reported that in 2011, aboriginal people accounted for 15 per cent of the total population of Saskatchewan.
Wasacase-Lafferty said closing that gap is good news for the province.
"I think that we are now looking at a time where more and more aboriginal people will be entering the workforce with higher levels of education than we've seen in the past," she said..
"I think that adds to our economy, but it also adds to our social fabric."
At one time, she said, most aboriginal students were in arts and science or the native law program.
But times have changed.
"What's remarkable is that we now have aboriginal students amongst all of our colleges and I think that's the real shift that we're seeing," she said.
"So it's not just concentrated in areas where there's specifically aboriginal programming ... The menu has gotten larger at the University of Saskatchewan for aboriginal students."