Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Ontario government cancels summer work updating K-12 Indigenous curricula - Open Letter Response

 


July 16, 2018

The Honourable Lisa Thompson Minister of Education

14 th Floor, Mowat Block

900 Bay Street

Toronto ON M7A 1L2

Dear Minister Thompson,

We are writing to you on behalf of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Association of Ontario, which represents over 1400 educators across the province. We support and promote the provision of quality education for and about Indigenous peoples. We would like to bring forward our serious concerns with how Ontario’s Ministry of Education is addressing Indigenous education. Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its 94 Calls to Action in 2015, every province in Canada is responding by beginning to implement the TRC’s recommendations. These Calls to Action also align with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to which Canada is a signatory. UNDRIP says that state education systems must accurately reflect the languages, histories, identities and cultures of Indigenous Peoples. Education is a primary focus of the Calls to Action; two calls specifically for curriculum reform and sufficient funding for development and implementation of the revised curriculum. In the past three years, educators across the province have been engaged in this work. The recent cancellation of the summer curriculum writing projects is a major setback to the progress that is being made. This obstacle to inclusive education flies in the face of the partnerships that this province is striving to maintain with Indigenous peoples. Closing the achievement gap for Indigenous learners is one way to boost this province’s prosperity and ensure that Indigenous peoples contribute to the economic growth that your government envisages. Our association would welcome the opportunity to meet with Ministry of Education officials to ensure this important and critical work continues in an efficient and timely manner.

Respectfully,

Jodie Williams Betsy Kechego Co-Chair, First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education

Betsy Kechego, Co-Chair, Indigenous Languages

First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Association of Ontario

 

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