Trustees of the Toronto District School (TDSB) Board have recently decided to require secondary students in the TDSB to take the Grade 11 English course: Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis and Inuit Voices. This decision, which was made during a Regular Meeting, replaces the current mandatory Grade 11 English course, marking a significant shift in the education system towards inclusive and culturally diverse learning.
The course, which was created by the Ministry of Education, has been taught in the TDSB for many years and has received widespread support from the Indigenous community. The Elders’ Council, the Urban Indigenous Community Advisory Committee, the TDSB’s Urban Indigenous Education Centre, and Indigenous writers, poets, and artists have all voiced their approval of the curriculum.
The course is organized into five strands, four of which are the same as the current Grade 11 English course, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Perspectives and Text Forms in Canada, Oral Communication, Reading and Literature Studies, Writing, and Media Studies. However, the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives and cultural backgrounds is what sets this course apart from the previous English course. This change is aimed at providing students with a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
This move towards inclusivity in the education system is commendable, as it recognizes the importance of Indigenous voices in shaping Canadian culture and history. By mandating the course, the TDSB is taking a step towards educating students on the richness and diversity of Indigenous cultures, and fostering a more inclusive and respectful society.
The decision to require secondary students to take Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis and Inuit Voices is a significant step towards creating a more factual and culturally diverse education system. By including Indigenous perspectives and voices in the curriculum, students will have a deeper understanding of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the rich cultural heritage they bring to the country.