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 (NIOs) 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Most recently, in July 2018, CMEC organized the CMEC Symposium on Indigenizing Education in Vancouver, British Columbia. The symposium gathered participants from across Canada, along with Elders and students, to share their perspectives on the Indigenizing of teacher education programs (TEP) and how to help teachers Indigenize their K–12 classrooms. Overall, the aim of the event was to identify and highlight learning environments that reflect and respect Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRCC) final report in 2015, and its 94 calls to action, ministers responsible for education have responded collectively and individually to the increased demand for change and reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. Ministers, collectively through CMEC, have committed to continue their work to respond to the TRCC’s education-related calls to action.

The CMEC Indigenous Education Plan, 2023–27, is a four-year strategic plan with three priority areas that has been designed to provide a more coordinated, strategic approach for provincial and territorial ministers responsible for education to work together to improve Indigenous education outcomes for all learners. The plan is available here.