Commitment to reconciliation now included in B.C. teaching standards
Applies to educators certified in the province
New teaching standards mean that teachers in British Columbia are required to commit to truth, reconciliation and healing in the classroom.
This is the first time the professional standards for B.C. educators, which are set by the British Columbia Teachers' Council, have included a commitment toward reconciliation.
The aim is that the new standards will help foster a deeper understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures and perspectives in the classroom.
"Education is key to a true and lasting reconciliation, and educators are essential role models for change," said Minister of Education Rob Fleming in a statement.
"We want to ensure students have the opportunity to learn Indigenous perspectives throughout all subjects in their school career."
"Current and future generations of school children will come through our education system with a firm grounding on why reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is so important to the future of our province," said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
The professional standards apply to all educators who hold teaching certificates in the province.
They also apply to out-of-province teachers applying for certification and to people enrolled in approved teacher education programs in B.C.
The Ministry of Education updated the previous eight standards to reflect the new B.C. curriculum. The additional ninth one sets out the reconciliation commitments.
"The new standard sends a strong and positive message that every educator has an important role to play," said Tyrone McNeil, president of the First Nations Education Steering Committee.
"This is part of a larger focus on creating systemic change in [the] B.C. public education system."