Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC)

Introduction: What is the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee?

The Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC) is a committee that advises the SNCDSB Superior North Catholic District School Board on all matters concerning Aboriginal education. The committee is composed of all various stakeholders from school teachers and principals to community members representing the Indigenous communities, local elders, and parents.

The Ministry's Support for Aboriginal Education

Besides providing regulation/guidelines that allow committees such as the IEAC to exist and function optimally, the Ministry provides funding for indigenous education. In 2015 for instance, the Ministry of Education announced a $97 million three-year funding program for supporting indigenous post-secondary education/training.

Ontario is also working with post-secondary education stakeholders and indigenous partners in an effort to develop a stand-alone/independent Aboriginal Institutes Policy for incorporating Indigenous owned and controlled post-secondary institutes into Ontario’s post-secondary education & training system.

What is the Goal of the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee?

The IEAC’s main goal is providing the SNCDSB with advice on all matters regarding the implementation of the indigenous education policy dubbed; the First Nation, Metis and Inuit Education Policy Framework. The committee focuses on advising the school board on ways of increasing the achievements of indigenous students and reducing student achievement gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous students. The IEAC also focuses on giving advice on how the school board can boost public confidence in Ontario’s Education system and efforts.

Specifics on the IEAC’s Advisory Role

The IEAC advises the SNCDSB on a variety of issues the most notable being on;

1. Aboriginal self-identification procedures.

2. Development strategies aimed at increasing awareness of the cultural and educational needs of aboriginal/indigenous students.

3. Development strategies aimed at increased development of curriculum initiatives on aboriginal education including courses of native language and studies.

4. Development strategies for improving the integration of indigenous perspectives in curriculum resources.

5. Ways of increasing the amount of educational resources available to indigenous students.

6. Ways of increasing professional resources relating to aboriginal education.

7. Development strategies for boosting the attitudes of non-native students towards native students, their issues as well as perspectives.

8. Professional development initiatives for educators and principals necessary for boosting indigenous education.

9. Ways of supporting the development of fruitful partnerships between the SNCDSB and First Nation, Metis as well as Inuit organizations.

How Many Times does the IEAC Meet?

The IEAC is supposed to meet at least four times every school year.


The IEAC exists for many reasons the most notable being reducing the achievement gaps between native and non-native students as well as boosting awareness and appreciation for native language and cultures. The IEAC is able to perform its duties by bridges the gap between the Superior North Catholic District School Board and all other stakeholders on matters regarding Aboriginal education.

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Self-Indentification Pamphlet

Our Members

  • Judy Wawia, Chair - Lake Helen First Nation
  • Pina Luomala - Principal, St. Joseph Catholic School
  • Colleen Sheriff - Indigenous Education Lead
  • Shirley Jean - Trustee
  • Lynnita-Jo Guillet - Ministry of Education
  • Skylene Metatawabin - Matawa Education
  • Tracy Bryson - Postive Behaviour Support Lead
  • Kim Figliomeni - Principal, Holy Angels Catholic School
  • Susan Baril - Flying Post First Nation
  • Maria Vasanelli - Director of Education
  • Leah Vanderwey - Superintendent of Education
  • Liz Michano - Native as a Second Language Teacher, Holy Saviour Catholic School
  • Liliana McPherson - Trustee
  • Victor Chapais - Ginnogaming First Nation
  • Valerie Auger - Pays Plat First Nation
  • Brandy Brake-Weldon - Dilico, Manager and Parent
  • Deanna Cooper - Metis Nation of Ontario

Indigenous Education Advisory Committee Contact

Leah Vanderwey Superintendent of Education at Catholic Education Centre in Terrace Bay Ontario
Leah Vanderwey Superintendent of Education Catholic Education Centre Terrace Bay, ON