The Province of Ontario’s Aboriginal Education Strategy is embodied in the 2007 Ontario First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework. Its two main underlying goals are to improve Aboriginal educational achievement in Ontario, closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students by 2016, and to raise awareness among all students about First Nations, Metis and Inuit histories, cultures and perspectives.
Through its efforts, the government seeks to increase the capacity of the education system to meet the needs of its Aboriginal students, and provide a learning environment conducive to their success within the Ontario school system. Within this framework, the government has committed itself to providing curriculum and educational opportunities that facilitate a significant increase in knowledge and awareness of all students and teachers in Ontario, and to ensuring that educators and administrators are supported in the incorporation of new curriculum into their schools and classrooms.
The main way the government is facilitating this increase in awareness within Ontario classrooms is through curriculum development and revision. In consultation with Aboriginal organizations, First Nations, Metis and Inuit content has been incorporated into revised curriculum where appropriate; social studies, history, geography, Canadian and world studies, mathematics, language arts, business studies and career education have all undergone a process of curriculum review. In addition to these reviews, Ontario students also have the option to take one of seven native language courses (which meet the official language requirement otherwise fulfilled by French), and ten different Native Studies courses are now available. New and revised curriculum is accompanied by a resource called “Aboriginal Perspectives: Teachers’ Toolkit”, which is designed to help teachers integrate Aboriginal perspectives into their teaching practices, and to meet the new curriculum expectations that have been established for each grade level.