Indigenous Education in Ontario

Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework, 2007

The Ministry of Education's - Ontario's Indigenous Education Strategy & the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s - Calls to Action sets the foundation for improving achievement among Indigenous students in provincially funded schools and providing all staff and students education on First Nations, Métis and Inuit history, culture and traditions.

The Indigenous Education Strategy supports life-long learning beginning in the early years and continuing through postsecondary, training or workplace opportunities.

These initiatives are further supported at SNCDSB through the;

 

I pledge my commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action by . . .
  • Integrating age-appropriate lessons on residential schools, Treaties, and Indigenous peoples' historical and contemporary contribution to Canada
  • Improving education attainment levels and success rates for all students
  • Supporting Indigenous languages
  • Enabling parents to fully participate in the education of their children
  • Respecting and honouring Treaty relationships
  • Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect



Indigenous Education Lead

As of the fall in 2016, the Ministry of Education funded each school board in Ontario with a full-time position dedicated to supporting the implementation of the Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework.

Indigenous Education Leads work closely with senior board administration, staff and Indigenous Education Advisory Councils to;

  • Support improved Indigenous student achievement and well-being.
  • Enhance the knowledge and awareness of all students about First Nation, Métis and Inuit cultures, histories and perspectives.
  • Collaborating and liaising with local First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, organizations, students and families;
  • Further supporting the implementation of voluntary and confidential First Nations, Métis and Inuit self-identification policies and administrative procedures in their board and reviewing the policy as needed.


Map

Map showing our school, First Nations and Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Council locations.

Map showing our school locations and First Nations

Contacts

Leah Vanderwey, Superintendent
Email - lvanderwey@sncdsb.on.ca

Colleen Sheriff, Indigenous Education Lead
Cell - 807-889-1260
Email - csheriff@sncdsb.on.ca




Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC)

What is the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC)?

In 2014, through the Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework Implementation Plan, the Ministry of Education indicated that all school boards would establish formalized processes, such as establishing IEACs to support local implementation of the framework. IEAC would provide guidance to school boards and schools in building stronger relationships with their communities, sharing information, identifying promising practices, and enhancing collaborative work to support First Nation, Métis, and Inuit student achievement and well-being.

SNCDSB IEAC’s Focus is to:

  • Promote awareness, knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture, history, contributions and perspectives.
  • Build and strengthen meaningful partnerships between SNCDSB and Indigenous communities and organizations.
  • Improve academic outcomes and wellbeing for SNCDSB Indigenous students.
  • Educate and promote First Nations, Métis and Inuit Self-Identification.

How Many Times does the IEAC Meet?

The IEAC Committee meets at least four times every school year. Committee members can attend meetings either in person or via teleconference or Zoom.

Who Can Join?

Parents or guardians of students who self-identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit. First Nations, Métis or Inuit community partners and community members.

Who Are the Current Members?

  • Judy Wawia, Chair
    Red Rock Indian Band
  • Victor Chapis
    Ginoogaming First Nation
  • Sheri Taylor
    Ginoogaming First Nation
  • Maurice Waboose
    Ginoogaming First Nation
  • Susan Baril
    Flying Post First Nation
  • Valerie Auger
    Pays Plat First Nation
  • Brandy Brake-Weldon
    Dilico - Manager & Parent
  • Wendy Houston
    Métis Nation of Ontario
  • Skylene Metatawabin
    Matawa Education
  • Shirley Jean
    Trustee SNCDSB
  • Cheryle Maruno
    Trustee SNCDSB
  • Patti Pella
    Ministry of Education
  • Maria Vasanelli
    Director SNCDSB
  • Leah Vanderwey
    Superintendent - SNCDSB
  • Colleen Sheriff
    Indigenous Education Lead SNCDSB
  • Pina Luomala
    Principal, St Joseph
  • Elizabeth Michano
    Native Language Teacher
  • Ashley Muir
    Native Language Teacher
  • Principal Representative & Teacher Representative based on meeting location

Where are the meetings?

Meeting locations rotate and are held either at St Edward School, Pays Plat First Nation, Lake Helen or in Ginoogaming First Nation.

All meetings are open to the public and we encourage all of our community members to attend.

Additional information and meeting dates/locations can be found on our Get Involved page.




Voluntary & Confidential First Nations, Métis & Inuit Self-Identification

Supporting our Students

The Superior North Catholic District School Board (SNCDSB) along with the Ministry of Education aim to improve student achievement and well-being for our First Nations, Métis and Inuit students by following the First Nation, Metis and Inuit Education Policy Framework and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada - Calls to Action.

Why Self-identification?

  • To support high levels of achievement for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. 
  • To provide opportunities for self-identified Indigenous students to access programming to meet their needs. 
  •  To develop new programs relevant to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit population.

Who can Self-Identify?

For the purpose of voluntary self-identification, proof of ancestry is not required. First Nation, Métis and Inuit are identified as:

First Nation

People who identify as being First Nation and/or of First Nation ancestry (includes both Status and Non-Status). It also includes those who identify with a First Nation community and/or ancestral land.

Métis

People who self-identify as Métis and/or of Métis ancestry.

Inuit

People who are descendants of one of the original peoples in Canada whose traditional territory and/or ancestry spans the Arctic.

I am First Nation, Métis or Inuit

To identify your child, please complete the following form and return to your child’s school.




Native Language Program

The Ministry of Education and Superior North Catholic District School Board understand that language is the foundation of culture. Indigenous peoples have a strong tradition of oral histories that must be supported by a new respect for, and understanding of, Indigenous languages.

At Superior North Catholic District School Board, 8 out of our 9 schools offer Ojibwe Language classes in grades 1 to 8. These schools are; Our Lady of Fatima (Longlac), St Joseph (Geraldton), St Brigid (Nakina), St Hilary (Red Rock), St Edward (Nipigon), Holy Angels (Schreiber), Holy Saviour (Marathon) and Our Lady of Lourdes (Manitouwadge).

Students learn both oral and written Ojibwe language as well as First Nations history, culture and traditions. If your child is interested in taking Ojibwe classes, please contact your child’s school.

Are you interested in learning Ojibwe? Check out these great websites for adults/youth, parents/guardians to learn Ojibwe!

Waking Up Ojibwe

Say It First

The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary

Supporting documents:





Curriculum Updates and Important Indigenous Dates Calendar

The Ministry of Education continues to work in collaboration with Indigenous partners to enhance the Ontario curriculum in order to support mandatory learning of residential schools, Treaties, the legacy of colonialism, and the rights and responsibilities we all have to each other as Treaty people.

Curriculum revisions occurred in the summer of 2016 and the winter of 2017. These revisions were guided by residential school survivors, First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners as well as education stakeholders. The revised curriculums, Social Studies (Grades 4 to 6) and History (Grades 7 to 8) were implemented in all schools in September 2018 (see below).

Curriculum Resource

SNCDSB’s commitment to Indigenous Education is seen as part of our Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) as one of the 4 education pillars. The Indigenous Education Pillar is focused on

“Providing learners the opportunity to gain and acquire knowledge about Indigenous culture, language and arts through experiences in a safe and inclusive environment."

Schools within SNCDSB offer cultural and traditional programs, Experiential programs, Ontario Arts Council events and so much more! Many of these programs, activities and events can be found on school social media sites or newsletters, SNCDSB website and/or SNCDSB Highlights newsletter.

Also, many events throughout the school year follows the Indigenous Education Important Dates Calendar (as seen below).

Indigenous Education Important Dates

2019/2020 School Year

  • September 19th - Powley Day (Métis)
  • September 30th - Every Child Matters: Residential School Orange Shirt Day
  • October 24th - Children in Care - Dress Purple Day
  • November 4th to 8th - Treaty Week
  • November 8th - Indigenous Veterans Day
  • November 16th - Louis Riel Day (Métis)
  • April 22nd - Earth Day
  • May 8th - Indigenous Education PD
  • The month of June - National Indigenous History Month
  • June 2nd - Truth and Reconciliation Anniversary
  • June 21st - National Indigenous Peoples Day
  • July 9th - Nanavut Day
  • August 9th - World Indigenous Day

Local First Nations

Local First Nations run events throughout the year that are usually open to everyone!

  • Fall Gathering/Harvest
  • Winter Gathering/Harvest
  • Spring Gathering/Feast
  • Goose Hunt
  • Fish Harvesting
  • All Ceremonies (i.e. Full Moon Ceremony)
  • Language Classes
  • Summer Months - Pow Wow

Indigenous Winter Games - to be determined