TORONTO, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Provincial and territorial ministers of
education are joining with Canadians from coast to coast to coast today
to celebrate National Aboriginal Day.
Official observance of National Aboriginal Day was first established in
1996 by then Governor General Roméo LeBlanc as a day to honour the rich
cultural heritage of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis peoples and
celebrate their important role in Canada's social, historical,
cultural, and economic development.
"National Aboriginal Day provides Canadians with the opportunity to
recognize the extensive contribution of Aboriginal peoples to Canadian
society," said the Honourable Ramona Jennex, Chair of the Council of
Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), and Minister of Education for
Nova Scotia. "Aboriginal histories, cultures, and values form a rich
and integral part of the Canadian experience."
In 2008, CMEC issued a ministerial declaration, Learn Canada 2020, underscoring the importance of Aboriginal learning and making it a key
priority of provincial and territorial education ministers. Ministers
of education are committed to eliminating the gap in academic
achievement and graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
students and join with Aboriginal leaders in identifying education as
critical for growth and development among First Nation, Inuit, and
CMEC has been active on a number of fronts in Aboriginal education. In
2009, CMEC held an unprecedented pan-Canadian summit on Aboriginal
education that saw provincial and territorial ministers responsible for
education, leaders of the five national Aboriginal organizations, more
than 40 representatives of regional Aboriginal organizations,
representatives from the federal government, and provincial and
territorial ministers responsible for Aboriginal affairs come together
to discuss ways to improve Aboriginal outcomes in education.
In 2011, CMEC brought together a variety of stakeholders, including
educators, academics, governmental officials, and representatives of
Aboriginal organizations for the CMEC Educators' Forum on Aboriginal
Education to share evidence and experiences of programs, policies, and
practices for student success in Aboriginal early-childhood and K-12
CMEC's pan-Canadian collaborative work continues on a number of issues,
including regionally appropriate work on Aboriginal-education data
collection and research, teacher education, knowledge transfer among
all those involved in Aboriginal education, and ongoing discussion with
the federal government on Aboriginal education.
This work complements the many ongoing initiatives being taken by
provinces and territories, in cooperation with Aboriginal education
stakeholders, to make education a positive experience for Aboriginal
While in Halifax for the 100th meeting of CMEC, ministers of education will hear a presentation from
the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission of Canada, to learn more about the important
work of the commission.
Founded in 1967, CMEC is the collective voice of Canada's ministers of
education. It provides leadership in education at the pan-Canadian and
international levels and contributes to the fulfillment of the
constitutional jurisdiction for education conferred on the provinces
and territories. For more information, visit us at www.cmec.ca.
SOURCE Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
For further information:
Tel.: 416-962-8100, ext. 259