TDSB approves plan for K-12 First Nations school
TDSB service vans and trucks sit idle in a parking lot on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (Corey Baird/CTV Toronto)
Published Thursday, June 18, 2015 1:55PM EDT
A Toronto school board has given the go-ahead for a new school with a curriculum focused on Aboriginal education and traditions.
The Toronto District School Board approved the plan for a kindergarten to Grade 12 First Nations school during a meeting on Wednesday evening. The school will be located at the present site of Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute, one of several schools slated for possible closure due to low enrollment.
The school is located at 16 Phin Ave., near Danforth and Donlands Avenues.
The board plans to convert the 85-year-old building into a First Nations school with a curriculum that values cultural traditions and history aimed at reversing the sense of alienation felt by some of Toronto's 7,000 Aboriginal students.
Students will study the Ontario curriculum, but also have the opportunity to learn hunting, for instance, and study First Nations literature.
The TDSB already runs an Aboriginal education program at the First Nations School at 935 Dundas St. E., near Broadview Avenue, that caters to students in kindergarten through Grade 8.
The new school has a projected enrollment of 600 students, according to the TDSB. It will be open to all Toronto residents, not just those of Aboriginal descent.
The board will next approach the federal and provincial governments for funding. It hopes to open the school by September 2016.
The decision to open the school comes on the heels of a report by the federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Among its many recommendations, the report offered many that focus on education reform.
In its report, the commission called on government to develop an age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, treaties and Aboriginal people's historical contributions.