Alberta’s commitment to 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.
This promise 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 Government of Alberta in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action.
The Guiding framework for the Design and Development of Kindergarten to Grade 12 Provincial Curriculum outlines the direction for provincial curriculum development and includes applying First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives in Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum.
The role of this framework is to set a common direction for how provincial curriculum is developed. It describes the purpose of curriculum, and includes common principles and standards that guide what will be included in future curriculum and a common design for how curriculum will look.
This framework applies to all subject areas across all grade levels and will ensure all students and teachers learn about First Nations, Métis and Inuit education for reconciliation, rights of Indigenous peoples, treaties and agreements, and the history of residential schools and their legacy.
Programs of study
Aboriginal Studies 10–20–30 enhances 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.
Other programs of study include:
Alberta Education has worked closely with stakeholders to develop new and updated professional practice standards for teachers, school leaders, and superintendents.
The standards aim to serve many purposes, including enhancing accountability and strengthening public assurance.
These standards include competencies that will ensure teachers and all educational professionals have knowledge and understanding of First Nation, Métis and Inuit cultures and ways of knowing, residential schools and their legacy; treaties; and First Nations, Métis and Inuit experiences and perspectives, cultures and contributions in historical and contemporary contexts.
Joint Commitment to Action
In 2016, representatives from Alberta Education and other stakeholders signed the Joint Commitment to Action to ensure that all Kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers receive additional training related to First Nations, Métis and Inuit history and culture.
Promoting Indigenous Languages
Alberta Education is working to support and explore provincial strategies to preserve, strengthen and revitalize Kindergarten to Grade 12 Indigenous languages, including:
- engagement with language experts, advocates and Elders through the Indigenous Language Advisory Committee
- supporting school-based initiatives through the Innovation in First Nations Education Grant program to help strengthen Indigenous languages and cultural identity
- funding the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI) to increase Indigenous language instructors
Learning tools and resources
Alberta Education has developed online professional learning tools to support teachers and students.
- Guiding Voices: A Curriculum Development Tool for Inclusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives is 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 is a resource for teachers to deepen their understandings of First Nations, Métis and Inuit ways of knowing and perspectives
- Empowering the Spirit: Education Resources to Support Reconciliation website is developed by the ARPDC to provide 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 are resources developed by the Alberta Teachers Association
For parents and students:
- My Child’s Learning: A Parent Resource provides information on Alberta’s curriculum, related information for the educational choices for your child, and preparing your child for transitions
- Safe and Caring Schools is 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 provides 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) includes 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
- Alternative and Outreach Programs are education program operated by public or separate school board that emphasizes a particular language, culture, religion or subject-matter, or use a particular teaching philosophy. Please inquire with your school jurisdiction for available programs
- Finishing High School provides information on Alberta Education’s programming and resources to help students graduate
- Graduation Requirements provides information on graduation requirements and credentials
- Aboriginal Peoples: Career, Learning and Work provides information and resources for career planning, post-secondary education, and bursaries and scholarships available for Indigenous peoples