MNO Leadership Meets with Minister of Education
On Thursday, May 17, the leadership of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) met in Queen’s Park in Toronto with the Honourable Laurel Broton, Minister of Education for the Province of Ontario. The MNO was represented by President Gary Lipinski and Chair France Picotte, who is also Provincial Secretary for Education on the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO). Minister Broten congratulated President Lipinski and Chair Picotte for their recent re-elections and indicated she looked forward to continuing to work with them.
President Lipinski and Chair Picotte highlighted the achievements made since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the MNO and the Ministry of Education in 2009. The desirability of building on the foundation of the MOU to develop a five-year plan to improve Métis engagement in the education system was discussed.
The MNO leadership shared information from several recent reports about Métis engagement in the education system in Ontario. One of these reports indicated a disappointing amount of Métis content in the training of teachers in Ontario. The Minister indicated that the province was preparing to refresh teacher education in the province and this was a great opportunity for the Métis to make sure that they are meaningfully included in the new curricula that will be developed.
An important theme that emerged from the meeting was the need to plant the seeds of interest in postsecondary education in Métis students at a young age. It was agreed that education offers the surest way to improve the lives of Métis children and getting Métis youth to start thinking about their future, even at the grade school level, is important.
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