Aboriginal education: past, present and future explored as TVO's Your Voice visits Thunder Bay for two-part special beginning Tuesday February 10, 2009

    -  TVO brings its online discussion series for parents to Thunder Bay's
       Fort William First Nation Community Centre to examine issues in
       Aboriginal education with an expert guest panel

    -  Two-part special to be streamed online at tvoparents.com Tuesdays
       February 10 and 17 at 9 pm ET, and broadcast on air Sundays February
       15 and 22 at 6 pm on TVO

    TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - Aboriginal youth is one of the fastest growing
segments of Canada's population, yet still has one of the highest dropout
rates in the country. And according to the 2006 Census up to half of Canada's
Aboriginals aged 25 - 64 have less than a high school education. Is this the
legacy of the residential school system and the mistrust that it generated?
How does education in Ontario today need to change in order to rebuild trust
and give Aboriginal students a greater chance at success?
    This February, Your Voice, TVO's discussion series for parents at
tvoparents.com, will head to Fort William First Nation Community Centre in
Thunder Bay to examine what and how Aboriginal students learn, and the role of
education in the protection and preservation of the Aboriginal culture.
    Presented in two half-hour specials (streamed online at tvoparents.com
Tuesdays February 10 and 17 at 9 pm ET, and broadcast on air Sundays February
15 and 22 at 6 pm on TVO), the Your Voice programs are hosted by Cheryl
Jackson and bring together teachers, social workers and community leaders
together with parents and families.

    Part 1: Past Perspectives and Present Challenges
    Tuesday February 10 at 9 pm ET at tvoparents.com
    (Repeated Sunday February 15 at 6 pm on TVO)

    Cheryl Jackson and guests will bring a social and historical perspective
to Aboriginal education in Ontario: How many students are there? What does the
education system have to offer to on-reserve and off-reserve populations? What
historical context do kids bring with them to school? And what are the
challenges to keeping kids in school to graduation? Confirmed guests include:
- Dolores Wawia, professor at Lakehead University's Department of Aboriginal
Education and co-chair of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee for the Lakehead
Public School Board. Wawia is a survivor of the residential school system and
was the first Aboriginal woman in Northwestern Ontario to obtain a Bachelor of
Arts and Masters in Education.

    Part 2: Solutions for the Future
    Tuesday February 17 at 9 pm ET at tvoparents.com
    (Repeated Sunday February 22 at 6 pm on TVO)

    Cheryl Jackson and guest experts look at people making a difference in
Aboriginal education, and at innovations aimed at establishing respect for
Aboriginal culture in schools and pride in Aboriginal students. The panel will
discuss initiatives such as blending Aboriginal programming into school
curriculums, funding support and other solutions. Guests include:

    - Ron Kanutski, a parent and social worker in the Thunder Bay area.
Kanutski is a self-proclaimed cultural teacher who volunteers in his kids'
school, giving lessons in Ojibwe history, music and art. He also works with
parents to help them overcome their mistrust of the school system and instill
confidence in their kids.

    - Jo-Jo Guillet, an Aboriginal resource teacher for the Thunder Bay
Catholic District School Board. Guillet has advocated tirelessly for the
integration of Aboriginal materials into schools and advises teachers on how
to integrate Aboriginal culture into lessons.

    Viewers can interact with each other and share their views on issues
raised in the programs in a discussion forum at tvoparents.com.
    For more information, please contact TVO Communications.

    About TVO

    TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted
source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and
stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be
engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Angela Garde, (416) 484-2600
ext. 2305, agarde@tvo.org

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