Education for Reconciliation

Alex Janvier’s masterpiece Morning Star, painted in 1993, adorns the dome of the Haida Gwaii Salon in the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. Morning Star illustrates the history of the land we live in from the artist’s Dene Suline perspective and expresses the hope of mutual respect. Click on the image to learn how to read the illustrated history.
Photo from the Canadian Museum of History.

OHASSTA participated in recent updates to the mandatory History curriculum in Ontario (2018) to better support education for reconciliation.

We support further action by members, school boards and ministries of education to ensure that we are fully addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, especially #62 and #63.

We believe that our members have an important role in learning and sharing with our students the historical and contemporary truths of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada. As an association, we are committed to building respectful relationships so that we can continue this work together.

The following is an excerpt from the Calls to Action #62 and #63 from The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. We call upon all Canadians to understand our shared histories and to work to take action for reconciliation.

Education for Reconciliation

  1. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators, to:
    i. Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students.
    ii. Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.
    iii. Provide the necessary funding to Aboriginal schools to utilize Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in classrooms.
    iv. Establish senior-level positions in government at the assistant deputy minister level or higher dedicated to Aboriginal content in education.
  2. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including:
    i. Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools.
    ii. Sharing information and best practices on teaching curriculum related to residential schools and Aboriginal history.
    iii. Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.
    iv. Identifying teacher-training needs relating to the above.