Media Releases

OISE, TCDSB partner on issues of Aboriginal culture, identity and education

November 29, 2011

TORONTO, ON — The Ontario Insti­tute for Stud­ies in Edu­ca­tion (OISE) of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to wel­comed more than 100 teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors from the Toron­to Catholic Dis­trict School Board for a sym­po­sium on issues fac­ing First Nations, Métis, and Inu­it last week.

OISE Pro­fes­sor Suzanne Stew­art of the Yel­lowknife Dene First Nation and the spe­cial advi­sor to the Dean on Abo­rig­i­nal Edu­ca­tion focused the learn­ing out­comes for the day on respect­ing and hon­our­ing Indige­nous cul­ture in edu­ca­tion in her open­ing remarks, and deliv­ered a pre­sen­ta­tion on what edu­ca­tion means for Indige­nous peo­ples.  The event marks the begin­ning of a mul­ti-year Indige­nous edu­ca­tion research part­ner­ship between OISE and the TCDSB to bet­ter edu­cate TCDSB stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, staff, and admin­is­tra­tion on issues of Indige­nous iden­ti­ty and cul­ture with­in a Cana­di­an con­text, and to increase the reten­tion and suc­cess rates of TCDSB Abo­rig­i­nal stu­dents.

Vince Cit­rini­ti, pro­gram coor­di­na­tor of Cur­ricu­lum and Account­abil­i­ty from the TCDSB, expressed the enthu­si­asm of the Board for “a greater inte­gra­tion of Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tures into the cur­ricu­lum.” OISE Dean Julia O’Sullivan wel­comed par­tic­i­pants on behalf of the Uni­ver­si­ty and shared, “how proud [OISE] is to part­ner with the TCDSB to ensure the suc­cess of Abo­rig­i­nal stu­dents at all lev­els of edu­ca­tion.”  Adding that “As Canada’s largest and most influ­en­tial fac­ul­ty of edu­ca­tion, OISE has a spe­cial respon­si­bil­i­ty to lead in this area; to recruit and grad­u­ate Abo­rig­i­nal teach­ers, and togeth­er with our Abo­rig­i­nal part­ners, to respect and reflect the needs and edu­ca­tion­al aspi­ra­tions of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ples.”

A high­light of the event was the oppor­tu­ni­ty for teach­ers to ask to ques­tions, to direct­ly inter­act with tra­di­tion­al cul­tur­al prac­tices and to learn about Abo­rig­i­nal his­to­ry, spir­i­tu­al­ty and edu­ca­tion.  Fed­eri­co Andrejin, a grade 11 World Reli­gion teacher at James Car­di­nal McGuigan Sec­ondary School shared his learn­ing from the event: “I have learned more about diverse Abo­rig­i­nal per­spec­tives and to how sup­port these stu­dents and their com­mu­ni­ties in my class­room.  This event gave me resources, nar­ra­tives and net­works that I can use to fur­ther that sup­port.”

OISE is a leader in Abo­rig­i­nal edu­ca­tion and among the first Cana­di­an fac­ul­ties of edu­ca­tion to pri­or­i­tize Indige­nous val­ues and edu­ca­tion­al research fol­low­ing the sign­ing of the Accord on Indige­nous Edu­ca­tion by the Asso­ci­a­tion of Cana­di­an Deans of Edu­ca­tion (ACDE) in June 2010. The Accord was devel­oped to cre­ate a respect­ful and inclu­sive edu­ca­tion cur­ricu­lum that reflects the needs of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

OISE media rela­tions

OISE Indige­nous Edu­ca­tion Net­work