Indigenous education in our schools
The Ottawa Catholic School Board wants to ensure that all students will have the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to successfully complete their elementary and secondary education in order to pursue postsecondary 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. We are committed to:
Our Indigenous students have opportunities to participate in different initiatives related to their heritage and culture, such as learning and leadership programs and art workshops. After-school programs for Indigenous students are offered in various schools from kindergarten through to Grade 12.
Our schools offer unique learning experiences
In these programs, community elders and artists work in collaboration with teachers to support the learning of traditions in an urban setting. We have a Restorative Practices room at Notre Dame High School that complements our Aboriginal Lodge at St. Michael School. Each room provides all students with access to a space for healing circles, learning about cultural teachings, meetings during after-school hours, and for smudging ceremonies. Additional Indigenous learning spaces are being planned for the next school year.
Our teachers are trained to meet unique needsOur First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies teachers meet regularly as a Professional Learning Community, where they learn about traditional and cultural teachings and to share resources from the Indigenous community. Teachers and administrators also receive training through conferences, networks, workshops, and other experiential opportunities which prepares them to meet the unique learning needs of Indigenous students in our schools and they are able to gain a greater understanding of the services available to Indigenous community members in Ottawa.
Some professional development activities held in the past year include: cultural competency training from the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, restorative practices training, and Indigenous Art and Restorative Teachings (I-ART) in conjunction with MASC.
Our students participate in Indigenous-centred activities
We strongly believe in the importance of educating all our students about Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Our students are given rich opportunities to participate in Indigenous-centred activities, such as: