I am concerned - Ontario Curriculum & Indigenous Education

Update: Please consider contacting Lisa Thompson, MPP, to share your thoughts on this. 

I am concerned to hear about the cancellation of meetings on Friday at 4pm, due to start tomorrow, to bring Indigenous perspectives further into the Ontario curriculum. My understanding is that educators, including knowledge keepers and Elders set aside time to do this work and heard about this cancellation last minute. This is not the treatment that they deserve, after agreeing to come to the table.

This does not feel positive for building relationships.

We cannot go backwards in this work. I am thankful for all the educators out there who are dedicated to Indigenous education, and incorporating Indigenous perspectives. We cannot, we will not, forget about all the gains that have been made. 

From 2011 to 2016 Dr. John Doran (Mi'kmaq - Shubenacadie) and I gave workshops to over 6000 teacher candidates at at OISE about Indigenous histories, current events, and pedagogies. Their interest and passion was palpable. You can't close those floodgates.

Textbook companies are on board. Good publishers are on board. Teacher education programs are taking steps. Educators, unions, admins can make the choices to keep this work in the spotlight. To hire Indigenous colleagues and knowledge keepers.

There are amazing resources out there by groundbreaking Indigenous authors. There are booksellers, like Goodminds.com.

Indigenous students need to see themselves reflected, and Settler students need to know the truth and understand their responsibilities.

What if a parent objects to this work?

This month, I have worked with a new group of teacher candidates in the course I teach, and a new group of educators in rural Ontario through facilitating a Collaborative Inquiry process. Both groups reminded me of a question that I have been consistently asked in the past five years, one that has spanned locations, contexts, grade levels, and years of teaching experience:

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