Métis Curricular Challenges and Possibilities: A Discussion Initiated by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy in Ontario


  • Laura-Lee Kearns Saint Francis Xavier University
  • Jonathan Anuik University of Alberta


Aboriginal Education, Metis Curriculum, Curriculum Studies, Aboriginal Education Policy


The Ontario Ministry of Education’s (2007) Ontario First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework asks school boards to “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 … [and] teachers” (p. 7). The framework is a conduit to push First Nation, Métis, and Inuit initiatives beyond the exceptional program or course found in a few Ontario schools. However, in our recent Report on Métis education in Ontario’s K-12 schools (2012) for the Métis Nation of Ontario’s Education and Training Branch, we found only a small portion of school boards were engaged actively in bringing the above mandate to life. As to Métis, the challenge is largely a lack of awareness of Métis history and culture. Our findings show there is a need for more Métis curricular material to be developed to broaden the appreciation, awareness, and understanding of the historical and contemporary Métis. Here, we share curricular challenges and possibilities in heading the call from Métis for a nuanced portrayal of families and communities at school.

Author Biographies

Laura-Lee Kearns, Saint Francis Xavier University

Laura-Lee Bellehumeur-Kearns is an Assistant Professor in Education at Saint Francis Xavier University. She holds a PhD and a Bachelor of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She also studied at Trent University and Western. Her research and publications focus on critical literacies, marginalized youth, social justice, and First Nation, Metis and Inuit education. Some of her works may be found in the Canadian Journal of Education, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Race, Ethnicity and Education, Metis in Canada and Diverse spaces: Examining identity, heritage and community within Canadian public culture.

Jonathan Anuik, University of Alberta

Jonathan Anuik is Assistant Professor in the Theoretical, Cultural and International Studies in Education specialization in the Educational Policy Studies department at the University of Alberta. He holds a PhD and Bachelor of Arts (high honours) in history from the University of Saskatchewan. His research and publications focus on the history of Métis education, nourishing the learning spirit in education, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit education policies, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit histories, and concepts of childhood in Canadian history.




How to Cite

Kearns, L.-L., & Anuik, J. (2015). Métis Curricular Challenges and Possibilities: A Discussion Initiated by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy in Ontario. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 12(2), 6–36. Retrieved from https://jcacs.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jcacs/article/view/37691