Toronto District School Board
Skip to main content

Banner Indigenous Education


The Urban Indigenous Education Centre (UIEC) offers a variety of Indigenous focused programs and opportunities for students, families and staff at  the Toronto District School Board(TDSB). There are programs and services that specifically focus on enhancing First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students well-being and achievement, along with engaging with families and communities.

The UIEC also offers programs that facilitate all staff and student learning in Indigenous Education, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Truth Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.


Program Offerings for Students

Individualized Student Programs: 

Indigenous Student Success Team

The UIEC has a referral system for creating opportunities for First Nation, Métis, and/or Inuit students at the TDSB to connect with the services offered by the UIEC. The Student Success Team—a team of Indigenous Social Workers, Child and Youth Counsellors, and Student Success Teachers—offers a range of services to students and families, utilizing a wholistic approach to support overall achievement and well-being. First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit students can be referred to the UIEC’s Student Success Team  by completing the Access/Consent to Service Form.

Overall Student Programs:

Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program

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. 

Toronto Indigenous Youth Council

The Toronto Indigenous Youth Council (TIYC) is a group of Indigenous Youth from across Toronto that come together weekly to make positive change in their communities and support one another in the process. The founding members of the collective saw a need for space to be created where peers could meet and talk about political action, business, post-secondary, and other engaging topics that come up in a culturally safe environment. 

Indigenous Student Summer Leadership Program

The Indigenous Student Summer Leadership Program offers leadership opportunities, credits, and paid work experiences for Indigenous secondary school students across the TDSB. This past summer, the program supported over 25 Indigenous students with accessing leadership experiences in a variety of Indigenous and non-Indigenous owned agencies and companies, as well as opportunities to gain a secondary school credit.

Now accepting applications for Summer 2024!

Gathering of All Nations Summer Camp

The Gathering of All Nations Summer Camp runs annually and. Indigenous students participate in traditional workshops guided by members of the UIEC Elders Council. Over the course of the summer, students complete the Grade 9 credit course Expressions of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Cultures (NAC 10). 

Monthly Student-Focused Speaker Series

Coordinated by the Indigenous Graduation Coaches, the UIEC  offers a monthly Student-Focused Speaker Series focused on providing  opportunities for Indigenous students (Grades 7-12)  to learn strategies for self-care, well-being, learning and skills for accessing employment and post-secondary options. Specific topics are selected in consultation with students. 

Program Offerings for Families/Caregivers: 

Indigenous Caregivers Circles

The Community Liaison Team works with school communities to coordinate Indigenous Caregiver Circles. These circles are opportunities for Indigenous families to gather, connect with Elders and each other, as well as engage in topics of interest that are connected to their children’s experiences in school. Indigenous Caregiver Circles have taken place at Kâpapâmahchakwêw  – Wandering Spirit School, Eastview Public School, and Bowmore Road Junior and Senior Public School.

Program offerings for staff

First Nations, Métis, Inuit Staff Network

First Nations, Métis, Inuit staff from across the TDSB come together four  times a year to engage in cultural teachings, self-care and networking.  

First Nations, Métis, Inuit Staff Leadership Circle

An opportunity for Indigenous staff in all areas of the TDSB interested in developing leadership capacity.  It provides a culturally safe space for participants to come together to share their leadership aspirations, and learn the skills and competencies in Indigenous Leadership related to their roles.

Professional Learning Courses Series 

The TDSB offers a multi-part professional learning opportunities for educators to apply to their classroom and leadership practices.  Courses include: 

  • Confronting Anti-Indigenous Racism
  • Indigenous Futurisms
  • Indigenous Food Sovereignty
  • Indigenous Education in the Early Years 
  • Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Identities
  • Treaties
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit

Leadership in Indigenous Education - Three-part professional learning series

This series aims to build capacity in leadership in Indigenous Education for vice-principals and principals. The learning focuses on identities, relationships to land, and facilitating the development of School Improvement Plan foci in Truth and Reconciliation.