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Alberta’s commitment to incorporate First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences into the education system was reaffirmed on March 27, 2014, at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event in Edmonton.
This commitment included:
- mandatory content for all Alberta students on residential schools and treaties
- a Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum development standard
- support for professional learning opportunities for teachers
Education for reconciliation is a step towards rebalancing the education system, advancing reconciliation and supporting the commitments made by the Alberta government in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action.
The Alberta government is in the process of renewing the Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum.
New curriculum will include First Nations, Métis and Inuit content. As stated in Alberta’s Guiding Framework for Curriculum Design and Development, every student in the province – not only First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students – will learn about the diverse Indigenous peoples of this land and how First Nations, Métis, and Inuit contribute to the vibrancy and fabric of Alberta and Canadian society.
Learn more about the curriculum development process.
Programs of study
There are specific courses available in provincial schools that support understanding of the diverse First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures within Alberta, Canada and the world. The goal of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies is to shift thinking, understanding and knowledge of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, the issues and challenges they face, and the contributions they have made to society.
For example, school authorities may choose to offer the following programs of study:
The Alberta government is working with education stakeholders and Indigenous partners to pursue initiatives that support reconciliation.
Professional practice standards
Alberta Education established professional practice standards to ensure all education professionals, including superintendents, principals and teachers, have knowledge and understanding of First Nations, Métis and Inuit histories, cultures, and experiences and perspectives, including the legacy of residential schools and treaties.
MOU for Collaboration on Education Objectives in Fort Chipewyan
On September 6, 2022, the Alberta government and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation and Fort Chipewyan Métis Association signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to improve education in the community.
The agreement solidifies a commitment to work toward establishing a community-based education authority that will provide culturally appropriate education programs and related services to students in the community of Fort Chipewyan.
Alberta Education will work with the 3 Indigenous communities in Fort Chipewyan to build a framework for collaboration, address mutual concerns and find new ways to support students in Fort Chipewyan. The parties will also continue to work together to replace the Athabasca Delta Community School.
Indigenous Education and Reconciliation Circle
The Indigenous Education and Reconciliation Circle provides a forum for education stakeholders and Alberta Education to collaborate in a meaningful way on matters and issues related to Indigenous education and advancing reconciliation.
The circle is chaired by Alberta Education (the Assistant Deputy Minister of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Directorate or designate). Members include:
- Alberta Association of Deans of Education
- Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia
- Alberta School Boards Association
- Alberta School Councils’ Association
- Alberta Teachers’ Association
- Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta
- College of Alberta School Superintendents
- Rupertsland Institute
Read the Indigenous Education and Reconciliation Circle terms of reference (PDF, 306 KB).
Promoting Indigenous languages
The Indigenous Languages in Education grant program supported Indigenous languages and culture programs in early childhood education and K to 12 curriculum across the province. Alberta Education awarded 46 grants to support resource and teacher development.
Grant recipients worked with local Elders, educators and knowledge keepers to develop Indigenous language courses and curriculum, gather stories, and to create resources and videos that support the teaching of Indigenous languages.
Learning tools and resources
There are several online professional learning tools available to support teachers and students.
- Guiding Voices: A Curriculum Development Tool for Inclusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives – a holistic development and evaluation tool developed to ensure appropriateness, accuracy and authenticity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and content in curriculum.
- Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum – resource for teachers to deepen their understandings of First Nations, Métis and Inuit ways of knowing and perspectives.
- Empowering the Spirit and Education Resources to Support Reconciliation – developed by the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia. Provides support for all levels within school jurisdictions to increase awareness, understanding and application of First Nations, Métis and Inuit histories, perspectives and ways of knowing for the purpose of implementing Treaty and residential schools education.
- Stepping Stones, Walking Together: Education for Reconciliation and Education is Our Buffalo – resources developed by the Alberta Teachers' Association.
- Indigenous Awareness – Committed to advancing reconciliation, the Alberta School Councils’ Association maintains this website area dedicated to Indigenous awareness and resources, for learning and sharing First Nations, Métis and Inuit information.
- Rupertsland Centre for Teaching and Learning is developing foundational knowledge resources, lesson plans, professional development opportunities and authentic classroom learning tools that speak accurately and meaningfully to topics in Métis education.
For parents and students
- My Child’s Learning: A Parent Resource – information on Alberta’s curriculum, related information for the educational choices for your child, and preparing your child for transitions.
- Safe and Caring Schools – a whole-school approach that describes how students, parents and school authorities have responsibilities for ensuring welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments that respect diversity, nurture a sense of belonging and a positive sense of self.
- Bullying Prevention – information on bullying, prevention and intervention. For enhancing relationships and conflict resolution, the first step is to talk with the classroom teacher. You may also contact the school principal.
- Early Childhood Services (ECS) – Kindergarten and educational programming for children as young as 2 years old.
- Diverse Learners – includes students who are gifted, have medical conditions or learning disabilities. Educating students with special education needs in inclusive settings is the first placement option to be considered by school authorities in consultation with parents, and when appropriate, the students.
- Outreach programs – an educational alternative for junior and senior high school students who find that traditional settings do not meet their needs. Ask your school jurisdiction for available programs.
- Graduation requirements, credentials and credits – information on graduation requirements including finishing high school.
- Indigenous Peoples: Career, Learning and Work – information and resources for career planning, post-secondary education, and bursaries and scholarships available for Indigenous peoples.
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