Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development
Historic Legislation Supports Indigenous Institutes and Reconciliation
Toronto, ON – Nov 23, 2017
Ontario is taking a historic step in recognizing the unique role Indigenous Institutes have in the province’s postsecondary education system with the introduction of new legislation that, if passed, would transfer key functions and oversight to Indigenous people.
Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, were joined by the Aboriginal Institutes Consortium, chiefs, leaders of Indigenous Institutes and students from across the province in Toronto today to mark this important step on the path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
The legislation, if passed, would recognize Indigenous Institutes as unique and complementary pillar of Ontario’s postsecondary education system and support the independence and sustainability of the institutes in Ontario’s system. It is also another important step on the path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
The changes would create a framework for ongoing collaboration between Ontario and Indigenous Institutes and would support a strong, independent Indigenous Institutes sector, overseen by an Indigenous controlled and governed council. The council would, among other functions, provide quality assurance for postsecondary diplomas, certificates and degree programs offered by Indigenous Institutes.
The proposed legislation is the result of joint policy co-creation between the Indigenous Institutes, represented by the Aboriginal Institutes Consortium, and the government. Indigenous Institutes and Ontario are committed to continue working in the spirit of reconciliation and mutual respect to enhance educational opportunities for Indigenous students, and to support their success in Ontario’s highly skilled workforce.
Working together with Indigenous partners, and recognizing Indigenous Institutes as a part of the postsecondary education system, is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
Listen to the audio below: