Customizing financial education for youth and Aboriginal peoples

14 September 2017
Author: Tara Popovic
When it comes to financial education, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. Financial education content and delivery work best when adapted to participant needs. Here’s what Prosper Canada has to say about delivering financial education to youth and Aboriginal peoples.

Youth
 
Canadian youth are more financially literate compared to youth from other countries, but many still have limited knowledge of basic financial topics. Canadian youth from low-income backgrounds especially face multiple barriers to accessing financial literacy information. This population tends to be more averse to taking on debt and will commonly opt out of applying for loans for post-secondary education or training. There is a need for Canadian youth to learn how to set financial goals, open cellphone plans, understand credit cards, take out student loans, and other financial obligations.
 
Maintaining their interest in financial literacy involves providing youth with credible resources and information that is relevant to their lived experiences. By creating age appropriate school-based and after-school financial literacy programs that involve their families, they can be prepared to make effective financial decisions in their future. Involving youth in fun and interactive financial literacy programs positively impacts their financial well-being, and their understanding of important financial topics such as budgeting, saving, debt, and consumer behaviour.

Aboriginal peoples
 
Aboriginal people living in communities across the nation experience economic challenges that arise from the remoteness of their location, high costs for basic necessities and lack of funds for economic and social development. Depending on geographic location, communities will often face limiting or no access at all to safe and affordable financial institutions and services. The absence of Canada’s mainstream financial institutions in these communities and the shift towards digital banking is a significant barrier for some Aboriginal people. By comparison, potentially harmful financial services such as cheque cashers and payday lenders can seem more welcoming and accessible. 
 
Aboriginal educational attainment and economic success are increasing, however Aboriginal people face significant barriers when it comes to accessing relevant financial information and services. Building community capacity to develop tailored financial information, one-on-one supports and encouragement from Aboriginal elders and role models are all critical in promoting the financial well-being of Aboriginal communities.

Learn more about the financial literacy needs of youth and Aboriginal peoples. Look out for our next blog to read about the financial literacy needs of people living with disabilities, newcomers and low-income people.

Additional resources:

Webinar: Accessing the 'new' OSAP and other considerations for students on low incomes
Webinar: Indigenous Financial Wellness in Canada
Worksheets: Managing your money

THE AUTHOR

Tara Popovic is a former Intern for the Marketing and Communications department at Prosper Canada. She is passionate about public outreach, community engagement and learning about the newest trends in the industry. Tara is a current student in the Bachelor of Public Relations program at Humber College.

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