• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario To Strengthen Mandatory Indigenous Learning in School Curriculum

TORONTO — Working with Indigenous partners, Elders, Knowledge Holders and education stakeholders, the Ontario government announced a plan to expand First Nation, Métis and Inuit content and learning in the elementary curriculum. The province announced that these changes will further strengthen mandatory learning on residential schools and foster greater understanding within the province’s education system of the intergenerational legacy borne by Indigenous families. This work builds on Ontario’s first phase of curriculum revisions in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, which were implemented in 2018. In addition, in 2021-22, the ministry is providing $23.96 million in Indigenous Education funding to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit students as part of a broader government commitment to reconciliation. The Ontario government built on this commitment with the announcement this week to continue expanding multi-year funding to support sustainability in partner organizations. Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, made the announcement at Native Child and Family Services of Toronto joined by Traditional Knowledge Keeper Vivian Roy, James Marsden, Chiefs of Ontario Education Portfolio Holder and Anishinabek Nation Southeast Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief, and Joanne Meyer, Chief Operating Officer of the Métis Nation of Ontario. The Ontario government’s work will ensure that First Nation, Métis and Inuit perspectives are reflected throughout the province’s curriculum. Currently, the province’s curriculum includes mandatory learning in Social Studies, Grades 4-6, and History in Grades 7, 8, and 10, including mandatory learning on residential schools in Grades 8 and 10, introduced in 2018. The Ministry of Education announced a commitment to complete the full spectrum of learning across this elementary curriculum, addressing the current gap in Grades 1 and 3 by September 2023. This timeline and the curriculum development process is being co-developed with Indigenous partners to reflect meaningful collaboration while recognizing the urgency of this content in learning. Ministers Lecce and Rickford outlined Ontario’s educatio