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Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Studies in the UCDSB 

The Upper Canada District School Board is committed to providing our students with multiple opportunities to learn about and engage with Indigenous Culture. Here are some of the ways our school board has worked toward bringing Indigenous education learning experiences to our schools:

Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC)

The Director of Education, Superintendent of Schools, Indigenous Education Lead and representatives from our Indigenous Community (Elders, parents, students) meet two times per year to discuss and seek feedback about UCDSB's Indigenous Plan and the direction of Indigenous Education within our school board.

Indigenous Education Funding

Schools have had the opportunity to seek funding support from UCDSB to implement Indigenous studies and learning experiences into their classrooms. This funding has been used for presentations from Knowledge Keepers.

Some of the presentations have included:

  • Manitok Thompson, Inuit Knowledge Keeper
  • Aboriginal Experiences 'Spirit of Dance'
  • Quincy Mack, Upper Mohawk First Nations
  • Rick Ravelle, authour of I am Algonquin
  • Elder Danka Brewer

  • À:kweks Aotsi'náhkwa

    In Spring 2019, the UCDSB, in partnership with the Akwesasne Area Management Board, held 
    À:kweks Aotsi'náhkwa (Eagle’s Nest in Dragon’s Den Style) with students from Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School and TR Leger. Judges and mentors from the community supported students as they created and pitched their businesses. Seven business ideas were pitched. All students received completion bonuses to begin their business.

    Watch the Video.

    Indigenizing the Mathematics Curriculum: A focus on the Inuit culture

    We are participating in a collaborative inquiry focused on embedding Indigenous cultures into our mathematics classroom. 

    Our goals:

  • to build relationships with our Inuit families
  • to form partnerships with the teachers and Inuit parents and family members
  • to explore mathematics through the lens of Inuit culture 

  • We focus on Indigenous culture at each of our Renewed Math Strategies days and encourage math teachers to embed Indigenous culture into their lessons.


    Workshops for Schools

    Schools can coordinate workshops that provide students the opportunity to learn further about Indigenous culture.

    Currently more than 30 schools have signed up for one or more of these presentations such as the blanket exercise, Haida art, medicine wheel and smudging.


    Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)

    We are focusing on embedding Indigenous Education into our classrooms. To this end, we have provided all schools in the TRC +4 the opportunity to engage in an Indigenous Collaborative Inquiry in partnership with various cultural advisers. A variety of books by Indigenous authors are also provided to schools. Schools have had the opportunity to bring in various cultural advisers/knowledge keepers to share teachings with students and staff. 


    Indigenous Books

    2019-2020 Honouring Relationships Virtual Celebration

    Traditionally, each spring the UCDSB hosts a multi-school, four-day Truth and Reconciliation gathering as a cumulative activity for work that has been done throughout the year and to foster relationships between students and Indigenous elders. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 gatherings were not possible. So, the UCDSB has provided additional resources and put extra focus on Indigenous education to celebrate Indigenous History Month and Indigenous People’s Day. 

    More on the Honouring Relationships Virtual Celebration can be found on the UCDSB Indigenous Learning YouTube Channel.

    iLead Days

    Indigenous students, their allies, and educators meet five times a year to engage in increasing their Indigenous cultural awareness and understanding. Each year, the number of Indigenous students participating in iLead days continue to increase. 

    UCDSB students can sign up at any point in the school year by speaking with their school's iLead teacher representative.

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