Rideau Hall Foundation Embarks on Mission to Support 10,000 Indigenous Teachers with $13.2 Million in Funding

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KI Celebrated the Grand Opening of their new Education Centre on Wednesday
KI Celebrated the Grand Opening of their new Education Centre on Wednesday

New investments advance goal of enriching Canada’s education system with 10,000 Indigenous teachers

OTTAWA – National Indigenous – On February 28, 2024, in the unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin Territory of Ottawa, the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) unveiled a monumental initiative, securing $13.2 million in support for seven Indigenous-led and community-driven programs, a venture made possible through collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation. This initiative, rooted in the RHF Indigenous Teacher Education Initiative, sets an ambitious goal to support the education and development of 10,000 Indigenous teachers across Canada.

Visionary Funding: Empowering Indigenous Education Nationwide

Roberta Jamieson, an esteemed RHF Board Director and National Advisory Committee on Indigenous Teacher Education (NACITE) co-chair, envisions a future where every Indigenous child in the country benefits from the wisdom and guidance of Indigenous educators. This initiative celebrates and bolsters the pivotal impact of Indigenous teachers on students from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis backgrounds, highlighting their transformative role within communities and the nation at large.

Strategic Partnerships: Collaborating with Leading Educational Institutions

The RHF is forging key partnerships with prestigious institutions, including the University of Blue Quills in Alberta, Gabriel Dumont Institute in Saskatchewan, Seven Generations Education Institute in Ontario, the Mi’kmaq Wolastoqey Centre at the University of New Brunswick, University College of the North in Manitoba, McGill University in Quebec, and a collaborative effort involving Yukon University, the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate, and the First Nation School Board. These collaborations aim to advance a unified vision for Indigenous teacher education.

Inspiring Indigenous Leadership: A Commitment to Cultural and Educational Excellence

With guidance from NACITE and the diligent efforts of an independent Indigenous adjudication committee, the RHF has carefully selected projects that promise to make significant strides in Indigenous teacher education. Mark Dockstator, RHF Board Director and NACITE co-chair, emphasizes the foundation’s dedication to empowering Indigenous educators through partnerships that celebrate Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy.

Community-Centric Approaches: Innovating Indigenous Teacher Education

Acknowledging the critical role of education in the prosperity of Indigenous Nations, Jennifer Brennan from the Mastercard Foundation highlights the demand among youth for more Indigenous teachers to foster a culturally attuned and supportive learning environment. This initiative represents a concrete step towards fulfilling the need for 10,000 new Indigenous educators, driven by NACITE’s visionary leadership.

A National Movement: Addressing Teacher Shortages with Indigenous Expertise

The RHF initiative addresses the acute national shortage of teachers, particularly within Indigenous communities. Rachel Mishenene, RHF Director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Initiative and an Indigenous educator herself, outlines the grants’ aim to support community-driven educational teams across Canada.

These teams are tasked with creating culturally responsive Indigenous teacher education programs, encompassing language, land-based, and remote-learning models. This nationwide movement promises to enrich Canadian classrooms with the invaluable perspectives and teachings of Indigenous educators, benefiting the entire country.

This funding and the collaborative efforts it supports herald a new era in Indigenous education, with the potential to profoundly impact both Indigenous communities and the broader Canadian educational landscape.

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