In Alberta, it is mandatory that current and future Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum includes student learning outcomes specific to First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences, as well as content on the significance of residential schools and treaties.
Alberta’s commitment to mandatory First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences in curriculum was reaffirmed on March 27, 2014, at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event in Edmonton.
“In the spirit of reconciliation, the Government of Alberta commits that all Alberta students will learn about the history and legacy of residential schools, along with the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of Canada.”
This promise included:
On June 22, 2016, representatives from Alberta Education, The Alberta Teachers’ Association, The Alberta Association of Deans of Education, The Alberta School Boards Association, The Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia, The College of Alberta School Superintendents and The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation signed a Joint Commitment to Action which will ensure all K-12 teachers receive additional training related to First Nations, Métis and Inuit history and culture within the next two to three years.
The Joint Commitment to Action is a positive step forward in honouring Government’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As all Albertans have a role to play in reconciliation, this agreement is one pathway to addressing this need.
Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was one of the TRC’s calls to action. The Declaration will guide Alberta Education’s work in First Nations, Métis and Inuit education.
The First Nations, Métis and Inuit Policy Framework guides the education system to strengthen knowledge and understanding of First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives among all students; provide First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners with culturally relevant learning opportunities; and enhance reporting on the achievement of educational outcomes.
The MOU is an agreement among the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs in Alberta, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada to work toward strengthening learning and educational success for First Nations learners in Alberta.
The MOU and the MOU Long-Term Strategic Action Plan provide a framework for collaboration to support a range of education-related issues including parental and community engagement, treaty and cultural awareness, and ongoing work on Education Services Agreements.
On February 18, 2016, the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council (KTC) and the Government of Alberta signed a Framework Agreement for the establishment of a First Nations education authority to support students from the five KTC First Nations. The Agreement is the first of its kind in Alberta, and enhances supports and strengthens capacity to provide education to KTC students that will lead to improved educational outcomes and high school completion.
Once established, the KTC Education Authority will allow students to continue to receive education in a culturally-relevant environment within their community, while benefitting from improved resources and supports similar to those of other students in Alberta. It is a vital first step in improving access to learning opportunities for First Nations students in Alberta.