Ontario Marking Ten Years of Collaboration on Indigenous Education
Province Investing in Indigenous Language Revitalization
Ontario is recognizing a decade of collaboration with Indigenous and education partners to support the well-being and achievement of First Nation, Métis and Inuit students, with new investments in the revitalization of Indigenous languages.
Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education, and Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, were at Eastview Public School in Toronto today to mark ten years of collaboration and announce that the province is investing in 40 community-led programs that promote the revitalization of Indigenous languages. These projects will include language camps, Indigenous language immersion programing, and the creation of curriculum, games and apps to support language learning.
The province also released Strengthening our Learning Journey, the Third Progress Report on Ontario's First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework. Over the last 10 years, Ontario has been working with Indigenous partners to support the success and well-being of First Nation, Métis and Inuit students including:
- Signing historic partnership agreements with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, Métis Nation of Ontario and Tungasuvvingat Inuit, and the signing of the Master Education Agreement with the Anishinabek Nation, to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous students.
- Working with Indigenous partners to ensure the curriculum is more inclusive of First Nation, Métis and Inuit histories, cultures, contributions and perspectives.
- Co-hosting the Gidinwewininaanan, No Lang Indigenous Languages Symposium, and establishing the Indigenous Languages Fund to support community-led projects that promote the revitalization of Indigenous languages.
Supporting the achievement and well-being of Indigenous students is one of the many steps on Ontario's journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners in making meaningful change and creating a better future for everyone in the province.
- Strengthening Our Learning Journey is the Third Progress Report for Ontario’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework. The first two progress reports were published in 2009 and 2013, respectively.
- Ontario is home to six Indigenous language families- Anishinaabek, Onkwehonwe, Mushkegowuk, Lunaape, Inuktitut and Michif, which include over 18 unique languages and dialects.
- Ontario is providing $10 million, over two years, to support community-led programs that promote the revitalization of Indigenous languages.
- Starting in 2017, the Ontario government is investing an additional $56 million over three years for Indigenous Institutes to expand their capacity and strengthen their role as an important pillar in Ontario’s postsecondary education system.
- In response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action (#62 and #63), Ontario is investing $15 million over three years to support the development of resources and educator capacity to enhance the learning and teaching of the history of the residential schools system, the legacy of colonialism and the importance of treaties.
- As part of The Journey Together: Ontario's Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the province is enhancing existing, and supporting the development of new, child and family programs in over 40 First Nations.
- In 2017, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) was selected to lead the Indigenous Education Knowledge Network (IEKN). The IEKN is part of the ministry’s Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER). The objective of IEKN is to mobilize existing knowledge, share wise practices and build relationships to support the well-being and success of Indigenous girls and young women in schools. The work of IEKN will be aligned with the intended outcomes of Walking Together: Ontario’s Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women.
“For ten years, strong relationships between Ontario, Indigenous partners, school boards and communities have supported the success and well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. Our government is investing in community-led programs that will help Indigenous students reach their full potential. All students benefit from a better understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures and contributions.”
“Education plays a significant role in the journey of reconciliation within Ontario schools. By working with Indigenous partners, we are strengthening Indigenous education across the province. This is helping to improve Indigenous student achievement and well-being. The Third Progress Report on Ontario’s First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework will help inform us on the important work that still lies ahead.”
“Education is key to reconciliation and Indigenous participation in our growing economy. Since our government introduced free tuition last year, we’ve seen a 34 per cent increase in Indigenous learners accessing aid to go to college or university. That, coupled with major investments in Indigenous Institutes and this languages fund, is helping to close the education gap — making higher education and training a reality for more Indigenous learners.”
“We have made significant strides in our partnership relationship with the province to execute our shared responsibility to provide education that builds and fosters a strong sense of identity for First Nations students and supports our languages and cultures. In partnership we will continue to build on our accomplishments and make further changes in education to ensure that our students are achieving educational success without having to change who they are, how they think and what they believe in.”
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day
“The Métis Nation of Ontario would like to recognize its longstanding partnerships with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. These partnerships are focussed on improving outcomes for Métis learners, and, although more work needs to be done, the MNO acknowledges the ongoing efforts of these ministries in this area. We would like to recognize the Ontario Government for its commitment to the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages, including Michif, the language of the Métis people in Ontario. We will be looking to work in partnership with Ontario to ensure that as we move forward we will see long-term, positive impacts for all our students in the provincial education system.”
“Tungasuvvingat Inuit is pleased to move forward with an Inuit specific approach to Indigenous Language opportunities in Ontario. This investment is consistent with the values and aspirations in our MOU with the ministry and will bring the Inuit world view to our shared work.”