Native Studies Curriculum

Native Studies Curriculum Expands to Grade 11 University Pathway
Posted on 08/21/2018
In September 2018, the Limestone District School Board will offer Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices to Grade 11 students in most of our high schools. This course is equivalent to the Grade 11 English course for all pathways and serves as a prerequisite for any of the Grade 12 English courses.   

SHS is excited to expand to the university pathway a course that is inclusive of First Nations, Métis and Inuit voices and focuses on Indigenous literature, non-fiction and media.  This course will ensure that our students participate in the ongoing process of reconciliation through exploring a wide variety of Indigenous voices.  

In Limestone, we believe that shifting the focus of Grade 11 English classes to Indigenous texts will ensure that Limestone students will have the opportunity to read widely and think deeply about Indigenous experiences and their role in the reconciliation process before they graduate.
In 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report and 94 Calls to Action. These Calls to Action are directed at most institutions and sectors in Canada, but education is a key component.  As a response, the Ministry of Education in Ontario is making changes to the Ontario curriculum to focus greater attention on Indigenous peoples’ experiences and contributions to meet the needs of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.  

Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices will focus on the development of skills of the English curriculum, and students will continue to develop and hone the English skills that are required for Grade 12 English and all post-secondary pathways. During this course, students will have a chance to read, write and discuss the works of Indigenous writers, as well as learn about contemporary Indigenous issues.   

In preparation for this change, LDSB English teachers have been exploring Indigenous fiction and non-fiction and media.  They have also been learning from local Indigenous knowledge keepers and Elders.  Limestone will continue to provide professional development for these teachers over the next few years.  

Using Indigenous content and processes to teach literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills will make for an exciting course for our students in Grade 11.  This content will help Indigenous and non-Indigenous students understand the Indigenous cultures and histories of this land, and better prepare our students to be active citizens in the future.