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First Nations School of Toronto to Move to Eastern Commerce

Monday, October 31, 2016
Categories: News Releases

First Nations Junior and Senior School of Toronto will be relocating to Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute from its current location inside Dundas Public School.

Toronto District School Board Trustees recently voted unanimously in support of this move.

In consultation with community members, Eastern Commerce was chosen as the new site because it meets a number of critical needs for the students and families of First Nations School including:

  • being easily accessible by public transit
  • having room to serve the growing student population
  • having space to provide innovative, authentic, Indigenous learning opportunities

First Nations School currently serves students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. With the move to Eastern Commerce, the school can begin implementing its plans to expand into Grades 9 to 12.

The move is scheduled to occur between January and March 2017.

Quick Facts

  • The decision to relocate First Nations School to Eastern Commerce was based on a report produced by the Aboriginal Education Centre, the Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee and the Steering Council for the Urban Indigenous Education Centre of Excellence which includes Elders Pauline Shirt, Vern Harper, Joanne Dallaire, Duke Redbird and Laureen (Blu) Waters.
  • First Nations School began in the 1970s as Wandering Spirit Survival School. It was founded by Elders Pauline Shirt and Vern Harper. In 1983, the school was recognized by the Board as a Cultural Survival School and renamed First Nations School of Toronto.
  • The school currently serves students in JK to Grade 8 and teaches the Ontario Curriculum infused with Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, teaching and customs.
  • First Nations School will be joining the Aboriginal Education Centre, Subway Academy, the TDSB Museum and Archives and other TDSB and community services at Eastern Commerce.

“This move is the result of much hard work and collaboration by parents/guardians, Elders, community members, staff and Trustees to ensure students at First Nations School have a space where they can grow and thrive.”

- Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB

“The relocation of First Nations School to Eastern Commerce is an outcome of working closely with Indigenous communities to create spaces which support student success and honour Indigenous ways of knowing, being, teaching and learning.”

- John Malloy, Director, TDSB

“I'm excited for students and parents to receive improved services and programming with a larger facility. Having the opportunity to work with great staff at First Nations School will foster more opportunities for our students and open their minds and hearts."

- Jonathan Kakegamic, Principal, TDSB



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