We are deeply saddened by the continued news of unmarked graves at former Residential School sites across Canada. We extend our sympathies to the families of these children, the Indigenous communities, and the families of the thousands of children who were sent to residential schools, many who never returned.
At Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB), we commit to continuing our learning about the lives forever impacted by the residential school experience in Canada. We are inviting all members of our TLDSB school communities to wear orange at any time, as their acknowledgement of the loss of lives at residential schools and the continuing trauma for survivors of the residential school experience and their families. Wearing orange is also one way to stand up and commit to the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. Sharing circles will continue to support TLDSB staff to come together to talk, listen, ask questions, and learn from each other and deepen the appreciation of truth and reconciliation work. Ongoing work will include continuing to provide education resources for staff and students, as well as other ways the school board can commemorate the memory of those who suffered from the residential school experience.
Resources and supports are available for Indigenous students, families, and the wider Indigenous community. The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience. For more information on the program, please refer to the IRSS website and the FNHA website.
Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) is committed to building meaningful relationships with Indigenous students and families, Elders, Knowledge Holders, Senators, and community partners. We are committed to further support students and staff as they learn about, with and from the rich and vibrant cultural traditions, histories, and contributions of Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island.
‘Guiding the Way’ is the TLDSB 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. The framework is also supported by the 2018 Social Studies, History and Geography Curriculum for K-8 and the 2019 First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies Curriculum for Grades 9-12.
Curriculum connections are made in all subject areas in both elementary and secondary schools highlighting Indigenous heritage, culture, and perspectives. Several locally developed curriculum support resources have been created by TLDSB and community partners called ‘Integrating First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives’ for classroom use from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Indigenous Studies courses are offered at each of the seven secondary schools in TLDSB. Mohawk language is now being taught in the secondary panel.
An Indigenous Education Advisory Committee meets regularly to guide initiatives and activities in TLDSB schools ensuring that Indigenous history and culture is honoured and celebrated with respect.
Schools are supported in their efforts to incorporate Indigenous learning into classroom curriculum content and activities. Funding is provided annually to all schools to bring Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Holders, Métis Senators and community partners into schools to share cultural teachings. The Indigenous Education Curriculum Consultant develops connections with Indigenous community members, provides professional learning for schools and staff and supports and supports the creation of curricular support documents to infuse culturally responsive and reflective pedagogy.