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Ontario Ensuring Students Learn Indigenous Histories and Cultures

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Ontario Ensuring Students Learn Indigenous Histories and Cultures

Province Equipping Educators to Teach Indigenous Contributions and Perspectives

Ministry of Education

Ontario is empowering educators to implement a revised curriculum for all students about the contributions, histories, culture and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples.

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, and David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, were at Milliken Mills High School in Unionville today to make the announcement.

The province is supporting teachers to deliver the new curriculum, which has been developed with Indigenous partners, and focuses on residential schools, treaties and Indigenous people's historical and contemporary contributions to Canada.

Ontario is continuing to revise the education curriculum in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. Revisions to the curriculum have been guided by residential schools survivors, First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners as well as education stakeholders. The revised curriculum includes grade-appropriate learning opportunities about residential schools, treaties and Indigenous people's historical and contemporary contributions to Canada. The most recent curriculum revisions support mandatory learning on the impact of colonialism and the rights and responsibilities we have to understand our shared history and to build our collective future in the spirit of reconciliation.

Promoting greater awareness of Indigenous histories and cultures is one of many steps on Ontario's journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government's commitment to working with Indigenous partners and rebuilding relationships based on trust and respect with First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $2.7 million to support capacity building for educators to teach the new curriculum.
  • The current revisions to Ontario’s curriculum are in response to The Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action #62 and #63.
  • The revised curriculum includes: Social Studies (Grades 4 to 6) and History (Grades 7, 8 and 10).
  • Ontario has also committed to revising Social Studies (Grades 1 to 3), Geography (Grade 9), Civics and Citizenship (Grade 10) and select senior courses from the Canadian and World Studies (Grades 11 to 12), along with Social Sciences and Humanities (Grades 11 to 12).
  • The teaching of the histories, culture and perspectives of Indigenous peoples — including residential schools — is now a mandatory part of the teacher training curriculum.
  • In 2014, Ontario sent First Nations and Treaties maps to every elementary and secondary school in the province to help raise awareness about treaties.
  • Ontario has designated the first week of November as Treaties Recognition Week to promote public education and awareness about treaties and treaty relationships.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Mitzie Hunter

“Education is central to moving forward on our shared path towards reconciliation. This new mandatory curriculum means that every Ontario student will build a greater awareness and understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures and perspectives. That shared understanding is essential as we move forward together.”

Mitzie Hunter

Minister of Education

David Zimmer

“The co-developed curriculum will provide students with a better understanding of the role of Indigenous people in Ontario’s past, present, and future. One way is by recognizing and respecting treaties as important responsibilities shared by all Ontarians. That’s why I am proud to support initiatives like this revised curriculum that bring greater awareness to the treaty relationship.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“The Métis Nation of Ontario recognizes the efforts of the Government of Ontario to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by working together with the Métis, First Nations and Inuit peoples in Ontario. The Métis people are a rights-bearing, Indigenous people of Canada, and this revised curricula will help tell their story, a story that has for far too long been forgotten in Canadian classrooms and in our country’s law and policy. This is a great beginning, but there is more work ahead. The Métis Nation of Ontario looks forward to continuing the respectful and productive working relationship that it has with Ontario.”

Margaret Froh

President, Métis Nation of Ontario

“Tungasuvvingat Inuit is pleased to be a partner in the development of co-created curriculum for Inuit in Ontario. For the first time, all Ontarian learners will have access to accurate and directly informed Inuit, First Nations and Métis history and culture in their studies. Education is the key to supporting ongoing reconciliation among our youth and future generations which will ensure a brighter and more equitable future for all in Ontario.”

Jason LeBlanc

Executive Director, Tungasuvvingat Inuit

“The OPSBA Indigenous Trustees Council welcomes the introduction of revised curriculum to support more learning about and greater understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures and perspectives. Advancing Reconciliation is a goal and responsibility we all share, and the role of the education system is crucial to this work.”

Mary Lynch Taylor

Indigenous Trustees Council, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association

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