QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP for Toronto Centre Suze Morrison says that Doug Ford’s decision to pause curriculum writing sessions for the truth and reconciliation curriculum amounts to throwing sand into the gears of one the key recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
“Earlier this month, educators, elders and knowledge keepers, including survivors of residential schools, were to travel to Toronto to participate in the curriculum writing session for the truth and reconciliation curriculum,” Morrison said. “This was cancelled on the Friday before people were set to travel and, in fact, some already had travelled into Toronto.
“Beyond the inconvenience of this decision and the disrespect associated with it, summer was also the ideal time for this curriculum writing to take place. In the fall, educators will have to be replaced in their classrooms by substitute teachers.”
In his answer, Minister for Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford seemed confused about the basics of the curriculum and who it would serve.
“We look forward to the opportunity for these young Indigenous people to have access to these important developments in the curriculum and for them to be a part of it,” said Rickford.
The minister also admitted that it was the Ford government that put the curriculum writing on hold in order to be “cost-conscious”.
The curriculum is not to be taught in classroom to only Indigenous students, but all Ontario students. And the curriculum writing is being done not by Indigenous youth, but by educators, elders and knowledge keepers.
In her question, Morrison also shared with the minister that, “this curriculum was to involve language and cultural learning as early as kindergarten, which is vitally important to preserving and passing on things like languages.
“This curriculum is one of the recommendations of the TRC and an important step in the vital process of reconciliation.
“Will the premier tell educators, elders and students when the truth and reconciliation curriculum writing will resume? ‘Paused’ is not good enough.”