Indigenous education has been a part of the work of CMEC since it was made a priority by ministers of education in 2004.

Since that time, CMEC has:

  • undertaken significant work in support of Indigenous education data collection and analysis;
  • created a best-practices database for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit education;
  • begun work on teacher training as it relates to Indigenous education; and
  • established an ongoing dialogue with national Indigenous organizations (NAOs) and the federal government on a variety of issues pertaining to Indigenous education.

CMEC has also been the catalyst for several unprecedented national events:

  • In February 2009, the CMEC Summit on Indigenous Education brought together ministers of education and Indigenous affairs, national and regional Indigenous organizations, federal government representatives, and other stakeholders to discuss issues related to Indigenous education.
  • In December 2011, CMEC hosted the Educators' Forum on Indigenous Education, which gathered educators and researchers from across the country to engage in face‐to‐face dialogue, exchange ideas with their colleagues and peers, and network on Indigenous early childhood and K–12 education.
  • Most recently, in June 2015, CMEC held the CMEC Aboriginal Educators' Symposium in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The aim of the symposium was to provide a forum for Indigenous educators to discuss, based on their own personal experiences, how best to attract more Indigenous people to teaching careers, encourage existing Indigenous educators to remain in the profession, support Indigenous students entering the field of education, and support all Indigenous educators in their training and career development.

Education ministers are currently implementing an updated plan of work on Indigenous education.

In 2016, CMEC adopted the term “Indigenous,” rather than “Aboriginal,” to refer to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in the context of its work. Use of appropriate terminology regarding Indigenous people and issues related to Indigenous people is a first step for governments in the work toward reconciliation.