Programs & Services » Indigenous Education

Indigenous Education

In Bruce-Grey there are many indigenous students and families,BG medicine wheel graphic including First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students. 

The vision of the Ministry of Education is that:

  • First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students in Ontario will have the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to successfully artwork by SMHS studentcomplete their elementary and secondary education in order to pursue post-secondary education or training and/or to enter the workforce.
  • They will have the traditional and contemporary knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to be socially contributive, politically active, and economically prosperous citizens of the world.
  • All students in Ontario will have knowledge and appreciation of contemporary and traditional First Nation, Métis, and Inuit traditions, cultures, and perspectives.(from FNMI Education Policy Framework)

 

artwork by SMHS student

 

For more information on First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education at Bruce-Grey CDSB, contact:
Michael Bethune 
Superintendent of Education
michael_bethune@bgcdsb.org
Natalka Pucan
Native Education Consultant
natalka_pucan@bgcdsb.org
 

Guiding the Way

Guiding the Way is a document that was created by a committee of the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board and the Bluewater District School Board with the support of our partners in the local First Nations and Métis communities. The document is intended to be a beginning to supporting staff in understanding First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture, values, history and traditions. 

Below, Guiding the Way has been divided into parts to make the download faster.
  • Prayers and World Views/Creation Stories of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit
  • Introduction, Table of Contents, Terminology related to First Nations, Métis and Inuit
  • A Glimpse at the History of First Nations, Métis and Inuit
  • Treaties - an introduction and timeline for which we gratefully acknowledge the support of Chief Ralph Akiwenzie of Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Chief Randall Kahgee of Saugeen First Nation. 
  • Best Practices for classroom teachers to include First Nations, Métis and Inuit in the curriculum
  • Traditional Wisdom - how to welcome traditional visitors, Circle of Life, 7 Gifts of the Grandfathers and more
  • Creating a Welcoming Learning Environment in our classrooms and in our schools
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit contacts to learn more about First Nations, Métis and Inuit
  • Voices of Wisdom: Learning from elders and a senator- 14 minute video at the Ontario College of Teachers site

Background Information

First Nation, Metis and Inuit students, families and communities make up the Indigenous populations in Grey and Bruce Counties. There are five federal reservations, rural and urban Native communities and Native organizations.  There are many Indigenous families that live, work and go to school in our counties. 
 
The BGCDSB board is committed to supporting the growth and development of all First Nation, Metis and Inuit students in meeting their God given potential. This vision is inclusive of Ministry of Education policy framework 2007 which states:
 
  • First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students in Ontario will have the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to successfully complete their elementary and secondary education in order to pursue post-secondary education or training and/or to enter the workforce.
  • They will have the traditional and contemporary knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to be socially contributive, politically active, and economically prosperous citizens of the world.
  • All students in Ontario will have knowledge and appreciation of contemporary and traditional First Nation, Métis, and Inuit traditions, cultures, and perspectives.
 
The Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board is committed to providing strong academic foundations while supporting the advancement of Indigenous education for all students. 
 
 

First Nation, Metis, Inuit Student Voluntary and Confidential Self Identification Policy

Bruce-Grey Catholic District School board is committed to providing supports and services to all students, including First Nation, Metis and Inuit  students to ensure they meet their fullest potential.
 
What is Self I.D.?
This process provides an opportunity for those of Aboriginal ancestry: First Nation, Métis or Inuit to identify their ancestry to the Board. The information will be used to help determine and improve the achievements and outcomes of students of Aboriginal ancestry. This process is voluntary.

Why Should I Self I.D.?
The Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board is committed to providing effective Catholic education to all students. It is working to improve achievement among First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students, and to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in the areas of:
  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Retention of students in school
  • Improving Graduation rates
  • Advancement to postsecondary studies 
 
How will this help?
Voluntary, confidential self-identification will assist in meeting these goals by allowing the board to establish performance measures for programs, improvement in program planning, retention procedures and and increase in accountability and reporting.  This policy allows for the collection of data to inform practice and programming.
 
How Do I Self I.D.?
Students who are already attending a Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board elementary or secondary school can register by completing an Aboriginal Self-Identification Form. The form can be obtained from the home school office or guidance department.

New students who are registering to attend a Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board elementary or secondary school can have their Aboriginal status recorded directly on the Student Registration Form when it is being completed.  

Who Will Have Access To The Data?
The data collected will be securely stored and will be used by staff to only determine programming and support for students of Aboriginal ancestry. It will be treated in the same manner as Ontario Student Records and protected and governed by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act. It will inform the Board if the strategies that have been implemented to support students of Aboriginal ancestry are resulting in improved student learning.

Promoting Success For All Students Of Aboriginal Ancestry  
In keeping with the three provincial goals for education
  1. increased student achievement,
  2. reducing gaps in student achievement, and
  3. increasing confidence in public education,
The Ministry of Education developed the Ontario First Nation, Métis and Inuit Policy Framework, 2007 which outlines the strategies to be used to increase educational outcomes for students of Aboriginal ancestry.
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/aboriginal/fnmiFramework.pdf
 

WHAT DOES THE PROCESS OF SELF-IDENTIFICATION INVOLVE? 

Each September parents and guardians are asked to update all registration information. As of 2012, registration forms have been updated to include self-identification information. If you are self-identifying for the first time, indicate the changes on the update/change form. If you are self-identifying at another time, contact the school secretary to obtain a self-identification form or click and print the registration form and submit to the school secretary.

Parents will be asked to self Identify as having a parent or grand-parent as First Nation, Metis or Inuit.

First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Definitions

Definitions are copied from Aboriginal And Northern Affairs Canada Website.

First Nation: 
A term that came into common usage in the 1970s to replace the word "Indian," which some people found offensive. Although the term First Nation is widely used, no legal definition of it exists. Among its uses, the term "First Nations peoples" refers to the Indian peoples in Canada, both Status and non-Status. Some Indian peoples have also adopted the term "First Nation" to replace the word "band" in the name of their community.

Indian: 
Indian people are one of three cultural groups, along with Inuit and Métis, recognized as Aboriginal people under section 35 of the Constitution Act. There are legal reasons for the continued use of the term "Indian." Such terminology is recognized in the Indian Act and is used by the Government of Canada when making reference to this particular group of Aboriginal people.

Status Indian: 
A person who is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act. The act sets out the requirements for determining who is an Indian for the purposes of registration of the Indian Act.

Non-Status Indian: 
An Indian person who is not registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.

Treaty Indian: 
A Status Indian who belongs to a First Nation that signed a treaty with the Crown.

Inuit: 
An Aboriginal people in Northern Canada, who live in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Northern Quebec, and Northern Labrador. The word means "people" in the Inuit language — Inuktitut. The singular of Inuit is Inuk.

Métis: 
People of mixed First Nation and European ancestry who identify themselves as Métis, as distinct from First Nations people, Inuit or non-Aboriginal people. The Métis have a unique culture that draws on their diverse ancestral origins, such as Scottish, French, Ojibway and Cree.