Programs/Services » Indigenous Education

Indigenous Education

Ontario First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, 2007 

The Ministry of Education's - Ontario's Indigenous Education Strategy & the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s - Calls to Action sets the foundation for improving achievement among Indigenous students and providing all staff and students education on First Nations, Métis and Inuit history, culture and traditions.
It is the mandate of the Northwest Catholic District School Board to ensure the promotion of an excellent Catholic Education, based on gospel values for all its students, and to provide quality education to Indigenous students in all schools of the Northwest Catholic District School Board.  
The Board will ensure that all schools will implement the curriculum principles found in the 2007 Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework document that will:
      • increase the capacity of the education system to respond to the learning and cultural needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students;
      • provide quality programs, services, and resources to help create learning opportunities for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students that support improved academic achievement and identity building;
      • provide a curriculum that facilitates learning about contemporary and traditional First  Nation, Métis, and Inuit cultures, histories, and perspectives among all students, and  that also contributes to the education of school board staff, teachers, and elected  trustees; and
      • develop and implement strategies that facilitate increased participation by First Nation, Métis, and Inuit parents, students, communities, and organizations in working to support academic success.​

Promoting Success For All First Nation, Métis, And Inuit Students​


The Northwest Catholic District School Board is requesting confidential, voluntary, self-identification of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit ancestry. This self-identification will help to determine programming and increase support to ensure Indigenous student success and achievement.
In January 2007, the Ontario Ministry of Education released the Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework (FNMI) which outlines:
  • Strategies and an implementation plan to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous students
  • The need to implement an Indigenous student self-identification policy
The document outlines strategies to improve achievement and to close the gap between First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students in the areas of:
  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Retention of students in schools
  • Graduation rates
  • Advancement to post-secondary education


Statistics Canada data indicated the following:
  • In Ontario, there are 424 490 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people
  • This represents a 30.9% increase since the last census
  • 43% of 105 205 FNMI peoples are less than 25 years old


The information collected from the self-identification process will be used to improve First Nation, Métis, and Inuit quality of education. Information on individual students will not be released. Information gathered will be used as the basis for determining additional supports and the programs for the TNDCSB FNMI students.
The Board First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Advisory Committee will be instrumental in making decisions about curriculum supports, programming, scholarships, data collection, and analysis. We will work closely with Indigenous Leaders in the community to ensure that we provide our FNMI students with the highest quality of Catholic educational programming specific to Indigenous needs. The Northwest Catholic District School Board shall share its self-identification data with the Ministry of Education and the Education Quality Assurance Office (EQAO).


  • Celebrate and integrate ancestry
  • Enhance equity in education
  • Assist students to reach their full academic potential
  • Increase opportunities for students success
  • Increase student support services​
Michelle Tymkin, Indigenous Education Lead
[email protected]
807-275-2931 ext 1235
555 Flinders Ave. Fort Frances ON 

Native Language Program

The Northwest Catholic District School Board is made up of 5 schools consisting of approximately 1250 students.  The Ojibwe Language Program is present in 3 schools within our board; Sacred Heart School in Sioux Lookout, St. Mary School in Fort Frances and Our Lady of the Way School in Stratton.  Approximately 150 students are enrolled in the Native Language Programs across the board.  It is imperative that TNCDSB ensure First Nation, Métis, and Inuit cultures are recognized and supported within our schools.
TNCDSB supports the Ojibwe Language Program, allocating additional staffing to allow Ojibwe Language Instruction to occur from grade 1 up.  Introducing outdoor classrooms and land based pedagogy to the Ojibwe Language Program as well as providing experiential learning opportunities help connect the language to the land.
Native Language Supports
TNCDSB continues to engage in programming with Connected North/TakingITGlobal.
Connected North is a leading-edge program that delivers interactive education services to schools in remote northern communities through high-definition two-way “Telepresence” video communication technology. The goal of Connected North is to provide participating schools with access to content that is engaging and innovative, with the hope of increasing feelings of empowerment in school and life. At the heart of the program is a commitment that holds Indigenous perspectives and reconciliation at the center of both content and process.
Connected North Logo
TNCDSB values working with the Indigenous community and continues to work alongside the Indigenous Education Committee (IEC).  The committee is comprised of Indigenous representation from local First Nation Communities, Métis Nation representation, Indigenous agencies, Elder/Knowledge Keeper, Indigenous Trustee, Indigenous Education Lead and internal Northwest Catholic District School Board staff.
The mandate of TNCDSB Indigenous Education Committee (IEC) is to advise the Board on matters relating to the education of Indigenous students. 
New Indigenous education initiatives are shared with this committee for consultation and feedback. In addition, the committee provides advice on the Board's direction in terms of Indigenous Education. This includes developing and enhancing partnerships with community based agencies that support Indigenous students and their families.
Check out the new Koko Jones Children's Ojibwe Shows sponsored by The Northwest Catholic District School Board. These shows feature TNCDSB staff and students as well as community members from Rainy River First Nations and Couchiching First Nation! This work is in support of Ojibwe language revitalization and the Anishinaabemodaa Project funded by the Ministry of Education. Miigwech to all those who participated as well as the community members who so willingly shared their knowledge and teachings in the filming.