Indigenous Education

We provide every student at the Ottawa Catholic School Board with meaningful opportunities to learn about Indigenous peoples and participate in Indigenous-centred activities. If your child self-identifies as First Nation, Métis, or Inuit, we also provide further culturally-relevant programming to honour your Indigenous ancestry and support their academic success.

We acknowledge

We respectfully acknowledge that our schools are located on the ancestral, traditional and unceded Indigenous territory of the Algonquin Peoples, on whose territory we pray, learn, play and work.

We open assemblies, gatherings and board meetings with a Land Acknowledgement to show respect for Indigenous peoples. This is a practical action we can take in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, to build positive and reciprocal relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples.

Ongoing tragedy of residential schools

The Ottawa Catholic School Board acknowledges and grieves the recent findings of Indigenous children’s remains on the sites of former residential schools. We are aware that more news like this will surface over the coming months and of the tragic impact this will continue to have on individuals, families and communities.

We will ensure that the true history of residential schools is remembered, acknowledged and taught to our students, and we are committed to the Calls to Action recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We know that this is not solely a historical issue, but that it is a current issue, still adversely affecting generations of Indigenous peoples today.

If you are in need of support, here are a number of mental health resources:

We learn from Indigenous cultures

From Kindergarten to Grade 12, we provide all of our students with culturally-relevant opportunities to learn and experience the beauty of Indigenous culture. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Experiencing sharing circles, powwows, and engaging in blanket exercises.
  • Learning from Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Indigenous community partners
  • Making birch bark canoes, drums, and exploring Indigenous art
  • Visiting museums and the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health
  • Exploring a variety of Indigenous high school courses
  • Participating in Indigenous events such as National Indigenous Peoples Day and community gatherings

Indigenous self-identification

Indigenous self-identification is entirely voluntary and confidential. Proof of ancestry is NOT required. You can self-identify when you register for school or complete our Indigenous Self-Identification Form online using the button below. If you prefer a paper form, you can request a copy from your school.

Our commitment to Indigenous education

As a school board, we are committed to ensuring our schools are welcoming environments for all of our students. We will design and offer culturally-relevant educational programs, opportunities and services that allow Indigenous students to succeed. We will engage with First Nations, Métis and Inuit community members because their voice and involvement in education is imperative. We will also collaborate with our community to increase awareness and appreciation of Indigenous cultures, traditions and perspectives for all students and staff.

Meet our team

Our Indigenous Education team is proud to collaborate with Indigenous partners to provide students with valuable learning opportunities. We also support the achievement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students by developing a culture where all students feel valued and respected.

Indigenous Education Advisory Committee

The Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC) is composed of Elders, Indigenous community members, educators, administrators, students and parents. It meets four times a year to discuss issues that impact Indigenous education in Ottawa Catholic schools and the minutes are posted below.