DCDSB to Introduce Grade 12 Indigenous Studies Course at All Secondary Schools

Posted On Wednesday May 25, 2022

The Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) will be introducing the Grade 12 NDW 4M course, Contemporary Indigenous Issues and Perspectives in a Global Context, at all secondary schools beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. 

Offering this Grade 12 course in all secondary schools responds to student voice and interest. After completing the Grade 11 compulsory English course, Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices, students engaged in an optional survey which indicated that over 60% of students would be interested in taking a Grade 12 Indigenous Studies course.

The DCDSB’s Indigenous Education Circle has been involved and supports the expansion of this course offering. Of particular interest is that this course is a mixed-level course. Many students will have the opportunity to register and participate in this learning opportunity, thereby honouring many future pathway options.

The board’s Indigenous Education department will support DCDSB educators with implementing this course by providing professional development, training opportunities, and resources to educators. Indigenous Education community partners are at the centre of the planning process. Community partners are helping to gather information and resources in addition to making connections, both in a global and Canadian context.

“We are looking forward to expanding Indigenous Education course offerings at the DCDSB. This course is part of the DCDSB’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation, supporting Indigenous students and families, and walking the path together with Indigenous partners,” said Mariah O’Reilly, Superintendent of Education. “This course comes at such a crucial time as it focuses on social justice and building on an understanding from the Grade 11 Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices course. Environmental racism, political injustice, intergenerational trauma, and efforts towards reconciliation will be a part of the course curriculum”.

“It is important for Indigenous youth to see Indigenous voices being centered both within the course materials and in conversations with community partners. It is a space for Indigenous youth to learn about themselves and share their voices and for non-Indigenous youth to learn about active allyship,” said Karli Robertson, Senior Manager of Indigenous Education.

This course will reflect global Indigenous peoples’ worldviews and perspectives and allow students to recognize the connections to Canada and act upon their responsibilities as global citizens. 

The Durham Catholic District School Board is set to be the only board in Ontario to offer and run this course at all secondary schools in the 2022-2023 school year.

More information about the DCDSB Indigenous Education program can be found on our website.