Canada, Metis Nation sign PSE sub-accord to improve outcomes of Metis students and programs

The Government of Canada and Metis National Council have signed the Canada-Metis Nation Post-Secondary Education Sub-Accord. The sub-accord comes on the heels of a post-secondary education review announced in Budget 2017 and is described as a "historic step in closing the postsecondary education attainment gap between Metis Nation citizens and non-Indigenous Canadians." The Sub-Accord establishes new approaches for improving the eduation outcomes of Metis students and programs, as well as focusing on student support, community-based programs and services, and governance capacity. "Through this agreement, Metis Nation students will have long overdue equal opportunities to pursue post-secondary education," said Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O'Regan. "I commend our partner, the Metis National Council for providing a brighter future for Metis Nation youth through education, as Canada continues its journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada."

Changes to ON Indigenous curriculum draws praise for content, criticism for optional nature

The Government of Ontario has recently announced the updated Indigenous curriculum, to be launched this September, which has drawn  mixed responses from groups across the province. The new curriculum includes 10 electives in areas such as Canadian Indigenous contributions to art, literature, law, humanities, politics and history. Tungasuvvingat Inuit stated that they are happy to see that several of the recommendations, they made to ON were accepted by the ministry but added that the success of the curriculum will be seen in its delivery. "When we started looking at what was there, predominantly it was through a First Nations lens," said TI Director Jason Leblanc. "For us, we wanted to ensure it would broadly address the Inuit reality." Several critics have panned the decision to make the new courses electives, despite the TRC's recommendation to make Indigenous studies mandatory. "It feels like the anchor's being sent to the bottom," said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare. "What's going to happen to all these things we've been putting in our education system? Our curriculum, books, starting to write our own language and all that?"

SaskPolytech offering free online Indigenous studies course as part of new strategy

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has launched a new online Indigenous studies course that is available for free to anyone over the age of 13. The single-credit MOOC takes about 15 hours to complete and covers Indigenous history and culture, colonization, and reconciliation. The course focuses in particular on deepening the student's understanding of Indigenous nations of Sask. "I think in the past we've had a gap in our education system around Indigenous studies and the historical perspective of it," said SaskPolytech's Director of Indigenous Strategy Jason Seright. "We're really passionate about that and wanting to maybe close that gap and allow people the opportunity to learn more about the Indigenous groups within Sask."