Abstract

In this article, the effect of education on the skill level of jobs held by Indigenous people working in the Canadian forest industry is examined. A skill index based on detailed occupation is used as the dependent variable in ordered logit models estimated using data from Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey (NHS). Results are obtained by gender. In the case of men, for Métis (a specific mixed European and Indigenous culture) and for First Nations living off reserve estimates of the effect of education are similar to those for non-Indigenous people. The estimated effect is lower for those Indigenous people living on reserve, particularly for those whose employment is also on the reserve. Results for women are similar, though often not statistically significant due to the limited sample size. High school graduation appears insufficient to provide access to better jobs, whereas post-secondary education, including trade certificates and community college, is very effective. The article concludes with a suggestion that, while closing the lag in Indigenous rates of high school education is critical, this must provide a gateway to further education. A discussion provides more policy context.

Acknowledgments

The author is grateful for support from the Canadian Forest Service and for comments from colleagues Dieter Kuhnke, Asghedom Ghebremichael, Kurt Niquidet, Dave Watson, Jeff Englin, Brian Wiens, and John Doornbos, but accepts responsibility for all errors. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Disclaimer

This article was written while the author was employed by the Canadian Forest Service. The views expressed are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Canadian Forest Service.


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