The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) is committed to providing equitable, inclusive, and engaging educational opportunities for all of our students, including those of Indigenous ancestry. This commitment is grounded in our shared understanding of developing a school culture where all students and staff feel understood, valued and respected.
HCDSB is also committed to strengthening relationships with local Indigenous community members to ensure that our Indigenous educational programs and services provide complete, accurate and authentic information. This is a commitment to improving student achievement and personal well-being in all of our elementary and secondary schools.
Ontario Ministry of Education Directive
The Ontario Ministry of Education has identified Indigenous Education as one of its key priorities. The Ministry of Education outlines strategies to improve achievement amongst Indigenous students, and to integrate the diverse cultures, histories and perspectives throughout the Ontario curriculum. For more information on the Education Policy Framework, provided by the Ministry of Education, please visit the following page: Indigenous Education Strategy.
The Indigenous Education Office of the Ministry of Education released, Building Bridges to Success for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Students, which encourages school Boards to develop effective policies and practices for voluntary, confidential Indigenous student self-identification. It was articulated that “…availability of data on Indigenous student achievement in a provincially funded school system is a critical foundation for the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs to support the needs of students” (Ministry of Education, 2007).
HCDSB has established an Indigenous Education Advisory Committee to help guide and advise such projects. A major focus was to establish a voluntary, and confidential Indigenous student self-identification policy, which will allow parents to voluntarily identify their children. This is a significant step towards ensuring that Indigenous students receive the appropriate educational support, and that all Ontario students acknowledge the significant contributions that Indigenous history, culture, and language provide to Ontario’s cultural, economic and social future.
By participating in the Self-Identification Program, parents and students are assisting the Board with the determination of programming and support to increase Indigenous student success and achievement. In addition, the self-identification process will help our Board monitor the supporting programs that have been implemented to improve student success. Please note that the information on individual students will not be released to the public, and is kept confidential in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act.
The HCDSB will share its Indigenous self-identification data with the Ministry of Education and the Education Quality Accountability Office (EQAO). These provincial bodies will report their findings in an aggregate and collective format to the public.
The opportunity to self-identify as having Indigenous ancestry is directly available through student registration and verification forms. The registration form is completed by students new to a Halton Catholic District School Board school, while the verification form is sent home to families beginning every school year in September, to verify student information. More information regarding the self-identification process can be obtained through your child’s school at any time of the year, in a confidential and voluntary manner.
Our logo was created by Joseph Sagaj. Joseph is from the remote communities of Eabanatoong and Neskantaga located 250-300km north of Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario. He graduated in Fine Arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1985 and has since received numerous private and public commissions.
We use the Medicine Wheel as it represents and unites various aspects of the world, both seen and unseen, and emphasizes how all parts of the world and all levels of being are related and connected to the universe. The Medicine Wheel teaches harmony, balance and respect for all parts are needed to sustain life.