Indigenous education in TLDSB
‘Guiding the Way’ is the Trillium Lakelands District School Board framework that supports the education and achievements of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students. The framework is based on the Ontario Ministry of Education’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework which was released in 2007.
Curriculum connections are made in many subject areas in both elementary and secondary schools highlighting indigenous heritage, culture, and perspectives. A TLDSB ‘Integrating First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Perspectives’ curriculum resource has been developed for grade 3 to 8 classrooms. Native Studies courses are offered at each of the seven secondary schools in TLDSB.
An Indigenous Education Advisory Committee meets regularly to review initiatives and activities in TLDSB schools ensuring that indigenous history and culture is brought into focus for all students.
Schools are supported in their efforts to incorporate aboriginal learning into classroom curriculum content and activities with central office staff and funding dedicated to indigenous education. The Indigenous Education consultant develops connections with indigenous community members, provides professional development for staff and supports for classrooms.
Indigenous Peoples – The descendants of the original inhabitants of North America. Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 states: “In this act ‘Aboriginal peoples of Canada’ includes the Indian, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada.” These separate groups have unique heritages, languages, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs. Their common link is their Indigenous ancestry.
First Nations – a term that came into common usage in the 1970s to replace the word “Indian,” which many found offensive. The term “First Nations” has been adopted to replace the word “band” in the names of communities.
Métis – people of mixed First Nation and European ancestry. The Métis history and culture draws on diverse ancestral origins such as Scotland, Ireland, France, Ojibwa, and Cree.
Inuit – Aboriginal people in northern Canada, living mainly in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, northern Québec, and Labrador. Ontario has a very small Inuit population. The Inuit are not covered by the Indian Act.
Voluntary Self Identification
If you or your children are of Indigenous ancestry we encourage you to consider participating in our voluntary self-identification process. It’s easy, quick, private, and it helps us better serve our students, your children.
Parents and guardians have the opportunity to record Indigenous ancestry for their children. Students age 18 and older have the same opportunity. Disclosing Indigenous ancestry is completely voluntary and confidential. No proof of ancestry is required.
To self-identify that a family member (parent or grandparent) is First Nations, Métis, or Inuit please complete the Voluntary and Confidential First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Self-Identification Form.
The OP-6211 Voluntary Self-Identification for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Students policy and procedure may be found here.
Participation in this voluntary self-identification helps the school system to monitor Aboriginal students’ success, measure the effectiveness of our programs, and helps the school board to better understand the needs of students with indigenous heritage.
Questions and Answers
Do I have to live on a reserve to self-identify?
No, you do not have to live on a reserve to self-identify your Indigenous ancestry.
Is self-identification only for Status Indians?
No. The goal is to self-identify Indigenous ancestry. If a family member (parent or grandparent) is First Nations, Métis, or Inuit then the student would self-identify as having Indigenous ancestry and indicate either First Nations, Métis, or Inuit.
What happens to the information?
All information will be securely stored to respect privacy and used only as a means to enhance Indigenous education programs with the school board. This information will be treated in the same manner as the Ontario STudent Record and isprotected by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.
Is there a deadline to self-identify?
No, this is an ongoing opportunity to help us in our planning.
Supporting the well-being of all
Feed All Four was developed in Trillium Lakelands District School Board out of an ongoing need to align teaching and learning with mental health and well-being. The body, mind, spirit, and emotions of an individual need to be fed consistently in order to optimize achievement and well-being.
Feed All Four is based on the First Nations medicine wheel and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and. Classroom teachers incorporate Feed All Four into classroom activities and a whole school approach is utilized by school communities.
For more information
Bruce Barrett, TLDSB Superintendent with responsibility for Indigenous Education
Holly Groome, TLDSB Indigenous Education Consultant
Carol Holmes, Wahta Mohawks First Nation Education Services Coordinator