Foundational Education Documents
Institutions at all levels of society are responding to the needs and rights of Indigenous people by taking actions and implementing policies that facilitate reconciliation, greater understanding and empowerment within the campus community and beyond. Institutions that have guided and supported the Indigenization of curriculum and instruction extend from the Werklund School of Education to provincial and federal governments and the United Nations.
Foundational Education Documents
Werklund School of Education: Indigenous Education
In 2015, the Werklund School of Education (WSE) passed and adopted its Indigenous strategy: Moving Forward in a Good Way. This document is an affirmation of WSE’s intent to commit to the ongoing Indigenization and decolonization of education and schooling. Within the document, are ten recommendations set forth by the Werklund School of Education Indigenous Education Task Force (2015).
In March 2016, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy task force was created with the goal of developing a strategy that would welcome and support Indigenous students, create learning environments inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in teaching and learning, and develop research and educational partnerships with Indigenous communities. In November 2017, the task force released its Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p which is a Blackfoot term meaning a place to to rejuvenate and re-energize during a journey.
ii' taa'poh'to'p Document (PDF, 2017)
2018 Progress Update (PDF)
2019 Progress Update (PDF)
2020 Progress Update (PDF)
2021 Progress Update (PDF)
2022 Progress Update (PDF)
"Alberta Education is committed to improving education outcomes and creating opportunities for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in Alberta." Current and future Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum includes student learning outcomes specific to First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) perspectives and experiences, as well as content on the significance of residential schools and treaties (Alberta Education, 2018). Although the Education for Reconciliation website pertains specifically to K–12, the resources are important in guiding curriculum implementation in educational capacities.
Education for Reconciliation (2018)
Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE)
The Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE) recognizes that it has a role and responsibility to expand educators’ and the public’s knowledge about and understanding of Indigenous education. ACDE’s vision is that Indigenous identities, cultures, languages, values, ways of knowing, and knowledge systems will flourish in all Canadian learning settings. In writing the accord, ACDE asserts its support for a socially just society for Indigenous people.
Universities Canada represents 96 universities from across Canada and has made Indigenous education one of their priorities. To ensure this priority is enacted, Universities Canada devised 13 guiding principles. These principles are not only directed toward Indigenous student success and academic achievement, but also the inclusion of Indigenous ways knowing, being, and doing, as well as histories into the educational curriculum.
Universities Canada Principles on Indigenous Education (2015)
Universities Canada Principles on Indigenous Education (PDF, 2015)
Empowering Indigenous students and advancing reconciliation (2020)
Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation (2023) (PDF)
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) was established by Order in Council on August 26, 1991, and it submitted its report in October 1996. The RCAP was mandated to investigate and propose solutions to the challenges affecting the relationship between Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit, Métis), the Canadian government and Canadian society as a whole.
RCAP Website (2016)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation is a creation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, signed in 2007 by representatives of former students of the schools, the Government of Canada, Churches, the Assembly of First Nations, and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, n.d.).
One part of the Settlement Agreement created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada and mandated the Commission to create a permanent archive for all of the statements, documents and other materials it would gather over its years of operation (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, n.d.).
TRC 94 Calls to Action
The TRC created 94 calls to action that will address the legacy of Residential Schools while allowing individuals and communities to forge meaningful relationships in the spirit of reconciliation. (Calls 6 – 17 refer specifically to education and Calls 62 - 65 refer to education for reconciliation.)
In 2016, Canada adopted the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous people. This document, apprised of 36 articles, recognizes and affirms the rights of Indigenous people, for example, self-determination, language, culture, equity, and education. UNDRIP is a crucial document as it supports the constitutional rights of Aboriginal people and the TRC 94 calls to action.
UNDRIP Document (2008)
Cultural protocols have been developed to guide the University of Calgary community on how to respect and honour the First Nations, Métis and Inuit protocols and processes for teaching, learning, and community engagement.
The University has developed resources for the acknowledgement of traditional territories, including texts, pronunciation guides and cultural protocol guidelines. The Office of Indigenous Engagement has also provided an inventory of Smudge Friendly Spaces, including space in the Education Complex.