Funding shortfall places Indigenous education program in jeopardy

May 1, 2019

The Indigenous Education Program, which was started by the Ottawa Community Foundation two years ago, is in danger of being discontinued due to a lack of funds. The program was funded by an anonymous donation and a community grant, which are projected to run out during the 2019/2020 school year. "This is reconciliation in action," said teacher Valerie Van Sickle of the IEP's Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. "This is reconciliation where the kids are learning culture. They're deepening their understanding, and that is an important part of the calls to action." Since the program began, over 800 Ottawa high school and elementary students have visited the Wabano Centre and participated in tours, workshops, and information sessions about Indigenous culture and residential schools. CBC reports that most of the funding goes to transportation for students traveling to the Centre. Staff at the Wabano Centre and the Ottawa Community Foundation hope that the program becomes a mandated part of the curriculum by school boards, an action that would require funding for the programs. CBC (ON)