September 27, 2018
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is urging the Ontario government to resume Indigenous curriculum development for the benefit of all students as Ontarians recognize Orange Shirt Day on September 30th.
The Orange Shirt Day- Every Child Matters Campaign is a movement begun in 2013 to commemorate survivors of the residential school system.
“There has been no word from the Ministry of Education since its cancellation of planned writing sessions to complete Truth and Reconciliation curriculum revisions and related initiatives despite letters from ETFO and other education and Indigenous organizations,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “The need for reconciliation has touched non-Indigenous and Indigenous students and families in every community across the province.”
“If this government is truly a government for the people, it will take the steps to rebuild relationships between Ontario Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and to create strong communities that work for everyone.”
In its September 11th letter to Minister of Education Lisa Thompson, ETFO stated that curriculum revisions resulting from recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are a priority for ETFO elementary educators. The letter can be viewed here.
“The majority of our members want to teach about First Nations, Métis and Inuit issues but many feel they lack the resources to do so. Many would benefit from attending relevant professional learning/development through their school boards,” added Hammond.
Since hiring a full-time Indigenous staff member to develop professional learning/curriculum resources in 2014, ETFO has produced age-appropriate curriculum resources and training on a broad range of FNMI issues for members.
ETFO’s Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at buildingbetterschools.ca. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.
For more information, contact ETFO Media Relations: Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations, 1-888-838-3836 x2331, cell 416-948-0195, firstname.lastname@example.org @ETFOMedia