The Canadian province of Ontario launched their new First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies curriculum on Tuesday, saying they hope it will give students the knowledge to “…challenge commonly held but often erroneous knowledge and sociocultural ideas and perspectives” about Indigenous Peoples as well has better understand the importance of “Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing in a contemporary global context.”
“We are committed to ensuring that Indigenous perspectives are present in Ontario’s curriculum,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s minister of education, in a news release.
“We look forward to continuing strong partnerships with Indigenous leaders and the community, and this represents an important step in our ongoing collaboration.”
The new curriculum replaces the previous programs of study: The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 and 10: Native Studies, 1999 and The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12: Native Studies, 2000.
In all, ten new elective secondary school courses will be offered covering everything from Indigenous culture and artistic expression to governance and the global context of Indigenous issues.
$3.25 million to help implement new courses
Ontario’s Ministry of Education says the new syllabus was put together with wide Input from Indigenous peoples including teachers, elders; First Nations, Métis, and Inuit community representatives; and residential school survivors, among others.
The Ministry of Education did not respond to requests for more information about Inuit input, or the Inuit organizations, that contributed to the new curriculum.
The provincial government also announced $3.25 million to help school boards implement the new courses.
The new curriculum comes into effect September 2019.
Write to Eilis Quinn at Eilis.Quinn(at)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Inuit organization accuses Nunavut’s education system of ‘cultural genocide,’ Radio Canada International
Finland: New climate studies program coming to schools in Finland, Yle News
Russia: Norwegian-funded school in Northwest Russia inspires cooperation, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Inequality a problem in Swedish schools: UNICEF report, Radio Sweden
United States: ‘Every year it’s harder’: Hiring teachers gets increasingly difficult in rural Alaska, Alaska Dispatch News