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UBC Mathematics Department Initiatives in Aboriginal Education

Over the last few years, the UBC (Vancouver) Mathematics Department has been increasing its support of a number of initiatives designed to enhance mathematics education for Aboriginal students in BC, and particularly in the Metro Vancouver area. Our activities are focused on after school workshops and tutorials for students, professional development workshops for teachers, and pre-service training for teachers. We aim to enhance the math training for Aboriginal students on several critical fronts.


  1. Improving access to the wide range of university programs that require Mathematics by providing opportunities for Aboriginal students to improve their math skills.
  2. Supporting teachers in elementary and secondary schools to find more effective ways of teaching Mathematics.
  3. Creating opportunities for UBC undergraduates to take Mathematics courses for prospective teachers that focus on the needs of Aboriginal students.
  4. Providing opportunities for UBC undergraduates to work regularly with Aboriginal students in BC schools.

The Larger Picture

There is a crisis in Aboriginal mathematics education in British Columbia. Aboriginal students make up over 10% of the school-age population in BC, with that percentage increasing steadily. Yet only 2% of BC Aboriginal students complete Principles of Math (POM) 12, the required level of mathematics in the high schools to enter most university programs, as compared to more than 25% over all completion of this course, and even then success in UBC programs is challenging for Aboriginal students. What is noteworthy is that this problem appears to be most serious in Vancouver area schools.

Support of Math Initiatives in Aboriginal Education

UBC Mathematics plays a part in a much larger effort of Aboriginal Math Education in Vancouver and BC, with some key contributors. For example:

See how you can Be Involved: Donor, Volunteer, Teacher