The recently released final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) provides a critically important challenge to all Canadians to support its 94 recommendations. As Commission Chair, Justice Murray Sinclair has noted, “It is through the educational system that non-aboriginal Canadians have been taught what they’ve come to learn about aboriginal people, or not learned about aboriginal people in this country…we believe it is through the educational system that information can be corrected.”
Building on OISE’s success in adopting Indigenous paradigms in education and research and a generous donation of $5 million to launch support for an initial five-year mandate, OISE’s Indigenous Education Initiative (IEI) will directly support several key TRC recommendations. Mobilizing research and knowledge to impact government policy and classrooms on and off First Nations’ reserves where it counts most, is key to a better Canadian future. True reconciliation must begin in supportive and more enlightened and enlightening classrooms informed by research based educational improvement.
Thus, the IEI aspires to be the global leader in scholarship on Indigenous issues that affects educational practice and policies leading to Indigenous futures that are healthier, safer, more just and prosperous and to demonstrable Canadian and global progress on reconciliation. Thinking well beyond IEI’s current five year mandate, OISE will continue to be a leader in Indigenous education teaching, research and policy and is seeking philanthropic support to carry on this vital work now and well into the future.