In Canada, education does not fall within the scope of federal jurisdiction – it is the singular responsibility of each province or territory. Under the British North America Act of 1867, each province and territory has the power to establish its own autonomous education system and to make all decisions regarding schools, teachers and curriculum pertaining to education within the specific province/territory.

A distinct feature of the Canadian educational system is that religious schools are included within the public system. In the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the territories of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, provisions have been made for denominational minorities to operate separate school systems, the majority of which are Roman Catholic. In addition, there are a number of private schools, as well as schools which operate under the jurisdiction of the Aboriginal bands in the provinces and territories.