Kiiwetinoong MPP given critic role in Official Opposition
Tim Brody - Editor
Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa has been appointed Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic by Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath.
Mamakwa is one of eight northern Ontario NDP MPPs given key roles in the Official Opposition.
“Our strong team of Northern New Democrats will make this government accountable to families in Northern Ontario. The NDP has a long history of fighting for Northern Ontario and the public services and jobs that families in northern communities depend on,” Horwath said.
Also last week, Mamakwa wrote Minister of Education Lisa Thompson, asking that Indigenous curriculum development resume immediately.
In his open letter, Mamakwa wrote, “Last month, your government cancelled planned Indigenous curriculum writing sessions throughout the province, a major misstep on the road toward reconciliation that calls into question your government’s commitment to important calls to action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).”
He went on to state, “At the time, you assured educators and families that your actions constituted a mere pause on the development of an Indigenous curriculum. Since then however, your government has moved us backwards, sidestepping commitments to clean up the mercury in Grassy Narrows, omitting any mention of Indigenous issues in the Speech from the Throne, and even dropping reconciliation from the Minister’s title.
“Given these actions - and as the MPP representing Kiiwetinoong, a riding comprised of a significant percentage of Ontario citizens of First Nations descent - I’m deeply concerned about the future of an Indigenous curriculum in Ontario schools. With the 2018-19 school year just weeks away, I ask that you immediately resume Indigenous curriculum writing sessions and share an updated timeline of when this will be completed.”
He further stated, “As a person who went to residential school myself, it troubles me that Ontario children may not learn about the traumatic experiences of many thousands of Indigenous children who suffered as a result of Canadian policy and law. Minister, delaying or cancelling Indigenous curriculum development will set progress towards reconciliation in this province backwards. Incorporating Indigenous content in our schools is vital to fulfilling Ontario’s commitment towards reconciliation.”