First Nations leaders disappointed Indigenous high school courses not mandatory

TORONTO- Indigenous courses will not be a mandatory part of the high school curriculum in Ontario, a decision that has angered First Nations members.

The Progressive Conservative government’s decision reverses a commitment from the former Liberals to make the courses mandatory.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson has said 10 elective courses on First Nations, Metis and Inuit Studies for Grades 9 to 12 will offer relevant knowledge on Indigenous issues.

The previous Liberal government’s promise in 2016 stemmed from a recommendation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but the curriculum wasn’t completed before last year’s election.

Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation says learning about the colonial history of the country should not be optional.

Sol Mamakwa, the NDP critic for Indigenous relations and reconciliation, says Premier Doug Ford is not taking the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations seriously, and that drags the province further from reconciliation.

 

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