Published in April 2017, ‘Cross Country Overview” delivers a snapshot of educational initiatives in the provinces and territories. The intent is to share how Indigenous education is structured and supported across Canada, how jurisdictions are responding to the Calls to Action, and to tentatively begin to identify promising practices so that jurisdictions may be able to learn from one another.
See also Addendum 1 of Cross-Country overview of Indigenous Education – CSBA Charter of Commitment to First Nations, Metis and Inuit education
Cross Country Overview Recommendations:
- Indigenous Education
That the federal government and Indigenous groups work together to provide up-to-date data on students both inside and outside the provincial education systems and protocols for sharing.
That all provinces and territories develop a voluntary self- identification process for trustees, in order to determine how well represented Indigenous communities are in the governance of the education of their students.
- Indigenous Staff
That all provinces and territories implement a voluntary self- identification process for staff. This would enable jurisdictions with high percentages of Indigenous students to inform their recruitment processes to ensure that Indigenous students have strong Indigenous role models within their schools and school systems.
- Band Operated Schools
That the CSBA encourage all boards to engage in value added relationships with all Indigenous groups
- Education Agreements
That a future survey be conducted to determine what is typically in these agreements, how they are funded, and establish a central repository of First Nations Education Agreements across the country
- Professional Development for School Trustees on Indigenous Education
That boards are encouraged to engage in governance training that includes training on relationships with all Indigenous peoples and supports TRC recommendations.
CSBA POSITION ON THE TRC CALLS TO ACTION
The CSBA believes that through education we can move towards a Canada where the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians is founded on mutual respect. Therefore, the CSBA supports the Calls to Action of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
The Focus of our Advocacy and Actions:
- Advocacy for a curriculum that contains clear expectations that every Canadian student will acquire knowledge and understanding of Treaties and of the historical context that gave rise to residential schools, the impact for Indigenous children and their families, and the ongoing legacy that is the responsibility of all Canadians
- Commitment to ensuring that the needs and aspirations of Indigenous children and their families are a prominent focus of CSBA’s other key priority areas
- Respecting the TRC Call to Action regarding retention and revitalization of Indigenous languages, advocacy for the teaching of Indigenous languages in schools by fluent Indigenous speakers
- Ongoing focus on increased visibility and scope for action to expand capacity of First Nation trustees and increased general understanding by all trustees of Indigenous issues
- Advocacy that supports action on eliminating inequity at the Federal level in education funding for Indigenous students
The CSBA has implemented different professional development initiatives for all trustees across Canada through the development of the National Trustee Gathering on Aboriginal Education, which holds keynote and plenary sessions by Indigenous leaders across the nation. CSBA Congress, which takes place immediately after the National Trustee Gathering, also holds different keynote and plenary sessions consisting of professional development for all trustees on the topic of Indigenous education.