Province delays implementation of K-6 curriculum
By Chris Mah Poy, Justice and Networks Support & First Third Animator, Chinook Winds Region
This week, Alberta Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange announced that it would delay the implementation of the province’s draft elementary curriculum and its new junior and senior high school curriculum. Thanks to your campaigning and feedback and that of other concerned Albertans, the Government will strike a new advisory group and has announced that more changes will be made to reflect the concerns of Indigenous Albertans.
At the Chinook Winds Regional Council Gathering in May 2021, the Region committed to campaign for changes to the Alberta government’s proposed K-6 school curriculum. As well, Chinook Winds Communities of Faith and also United Church individuals wrote to the provincial government. The proposed curriculum had many concerning issues and omissions. We were specifically concerned about the lack of inclusion of both historical and current Indigenous perspectives in all grades, and that the curriculum did not fully respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action regarding education for the Reconciliation.
The provincial government’s announcement is an important step, and your advocacy has had an impact. However, I am not relieved, indeed I am restless. While the Government has delayed implementation of the draft curriculum and committed to making changes, the new “blueprint” for the social studies curriculum still does not introduce learning about Residential Schools until grade 4, counter to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Friends, our work continues. Please continue to write your local MLA and the Minister of Education, calling for the full implementation of the Education of Reconciliation principles. We are called in our continuing commitment to Reconciliation to demand better of ourselves, our Church and our shared institutions. Please know that your continued advocacy matters, and has a real impact.
Thank you to Ralph Connor Memorial United, Canmore, AB and the Being Good Relations Network/Circle of Chinook Winds Region and Northern Spirit Region who brought forward the original motion to the Chinook Winds May 2021 meeting.