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Advancing Reconciliation: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education

​​Our Vision

OPSBA believes that through education we will move towards a Canada where the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians is founded on mutual respect and OPSBA, therefore, supports the Calls to Action of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).  ​

The Focus of our Advocacy and Actions

  • Advocate for a comprehensive Ontario curriculum that contains clear expectations that every Ontario student will acquire knowledge and understanding of Treaties and of the historical context that gave rise to residential schools, the impact on First Nation, Métis and Inuit children and their families, and the ongoing legacy that is the responsibility of all Canadians
  • Advocate for sufficient provincial funding to cover curriculum resources, and staff training, to support the implementation of the comprehensive Ontario curriculum
  • Ensure the needs and aspirations of First Nation, Métis and Inuit children and their families are a prominent focus of OPSBA's other priority areas
  • Respect the TRC Call to Action regarding retention and revitalization of Indigenous languages in Ontario schools, taught by fluent Indigenous speakers
  • Expand capacity of First Nation trustees and increase understanding by all trustees of First Nation, Métis and Inuit issues
  • Advocate for equity at the federal level in education funding for First Nations students
  • Explore the issues of representation of First Nation, Métis and Inuit students in urban environments
  • Support the development of mechanisms to increase the hiring of Indigenous staff, including in leadership roles
  • Advocate for supports needed to ensure the well-being of Indigenous students.

Each year, a range of initiatives are undertaken to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Education and trustee representatives sit on the Minister's Advisory Council on FNMI Education.

Indigenous Trustees' Council

OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council is the primary advisory body on FNMI Education. The Chair of the Council sits as the First Nations Director on OPSBA's Board of Directors. The Council provides advice on matters pertaining to FNMI Education programming, curricula, training and resourcing and facilitates partnerships with FNMI organizations.

​Relevant Submissions and Letters

April 26, 2018 - OPSBA Response to Proposed Amendments to the Education Act: Bill 31, Schedule 9

July 26, 2017 - Letter to federal Minister Bennett and provincial Minister Zimmer from the Indigenous Trustees' Council re: challenges faced by Nishnawbe Aski Nation students

June 2015: OPSBA releases Advocacy Paper for Mandatory FNMI Components in Ontario's Social Studies Curriculum

OPSBA's advocacy paper was directed by the following resolution of its Indigenous Trustees' Council, then known as the First Nation Trustees Council, approved by the Board in September 2014:

That a position paper be developed to advocate for mandatory elementary and secondary curriculum components in FNMI history that includes treaty education, the history and legacy of residential schools and the impact of the Indian Act.

That paper is now available for download.

The advocacy paper is in accord with the calls for action in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in that it proposes a mandatory continuum on FNMI history in Ontario's curriculum. The intent is that every Ontario student will learn about the government policies and legislation that gave rise to residential schools, their ongoing impact, as well as the contemporary realities of FNMI peoples.

February 2014:  OPSBA Endorsement of Charter of Commitment on First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education


Tuition (Education Services) Agreement Guidebook

A Tuition (Education Services) Agreement Guidebook has been developed as a joint initiative of the Chiefs of Ontario, Ontario's school board associations, the Ministry of Education and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The guidebook is intended as a resource for First Nation communities and school boards when negotiating tuition/education services agreements for students from First Nation communities who attend schools in the provincial system.

Download the Guidebook

Additional Resources