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The Student Success Team at the Urban Indigenous Education Centre is an interdisciplinary team made up of Social Workers, Child & Youth Counsellors, a Student Success Teacher, and an Itinerant Resource Teacher. The team strives to promote approaches to Indigenous student success that centre Indigenous student well-being. . Social Workers with the Urban Indigenous Education Centre promote Indigenous student success by supporting the biopsychosocial and spiritual growth of Indigenous students within the Toronto District School Board through a wholistic, strength-based, and trauma-informed lens. They provide various forms of individual and group support for Indigenous students including, but not limited to clinical counselling, crisis intervention, community outreach, case management, academic support and advocacy, attendance support, psycho-educational groups, and restorative/sharing circles. Social Workers can also extend this support to families, helping to advocate by ensuring that they are connected to the appropriate resources.
Indigenous Graduation Coaches provide support to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students to increase the number of Indigenous students obtaining an Ontario Secondary School Diploma and successfully transitioning into post-secondary education, training, or labour market opportunities. Within their role, Indigenous Graduation Coaches act as mentors, advisors, and advocates to students. They are helping students create pathways through the education system, facilitating access and referrals to academic support and community resources to maximize their support system for student achievement and well-being. Above all else, it is the priority of an Indigenous Graduation Coach to create a welcoming environment in the school for Indigenous students and families, engaging students by affirming their intersecting identities and cultures and forming trusting relationships through safe approaches.
The Community Liaisons work with Indigenous community organizations and caregivers to support relationships and partnerships with TDSB staff in individual schools and the broader system. Along with facilitating Educational Partnerships and Vender processes for Indigenous community members, Community Liaisons provide Elder supports, coordinate cultural events, organize caregiver circles, and collaborate with staff in schools to engage Indigenous students, families and community members. The Itinerant Cultures and Traditions Instructor supports the Indigenous cultural aspects of events and ceremonies, and focuses on providing cultural instruction/teachings and support to Indigenous students in the schools directly connected to the Urban Indigenous Education Centre.
The UIEC Teaching and Learning Team consists of Instructional Leaders (K-12), Elementary and Secondary Learning Coaches, as well as an Indigenous Language Learning Coach and Itinerant Indigenous Language Teacher. Instruction Leaders focus on system capacity building to close the knowledge gap in Indigenous Education, working collaboratively with other TDSB departments to influence instructional practices in Indigenous Education while supporting educators to learn from Indigenous community members. Alongside Instructional Leaders, Learning Coaches work collaboratively with school leadership teams to enhance conditions within individual schools, working toward school transformation for Indigenous Education, and facilitating an approach informed by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit student and family voices. For individual staff member requests for support from or collaboration with members of the UIEC Teaching and Learning Team, please fill out this form. For School Improvement/Transformation in Indigenous Education requests for support from/collaboration with members of the UIEC Teaching and Learning Team, including UIEC Administrators, please fill out this form.
The UIEC Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program was founded in 2019 by System Superintendent of Indigenous Education - Tanya Senk, with the support from the Indigenous Education Office of the Ministry of Education, Ontario. It is the first of its kind in a publicly funded school board across the province. Currently, the program is located at three sites: UIEC – Kapapamahchakwew Wandering Spirit School, Native Learning Centre East, and Native Learning Centre Downtown. Food Sovereignty Chefs at each site ensure First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students have access to food prepared based on wholistic understandings of sustainability, the restoration of land based cultural practices, and the protection of Indigenous food systems (Pimatisiwin). The Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program is supported by the UIEC and the Elders Council and is informed by Indigenous ways of knowing and doing.