A copy of the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada will be handed out to every junior high and high school in Alberta.

This initiative by the Alberta Government was announced on Friday, January 18th, as part of their commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. This will bring First Nations, Métis and Inuit history to life in the classroom.

“We all have a part to play in reconciliation and it is critical teachers have the resources they need to teach this important material in their classrooms. The atlas includes information on Indigenous communities, languages, education, treaties and lands, told through authentic Indigenous voices. It will serve as a powerful education tool as we move forward together along the path of reconciliation.,” said minister of indigenous relations, Richard Feehan.

It is mandatory within the province for the current and future kindergarten to grade 12 curriculum to include students learning the outcomes relating to First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences along with the history of residential schools and treaties.

“This is such a valuable resource and teachers will appreciate having authentic Indigenous perspectives to help bring a greater understanding of reconciliation to our students. It is my hope that students will share this important information with their families on the shared history of Indigenous Peoples in Alberta,” said Edmonton Catholic Schools Elder Betty Letendre.

Métis Nation of Alberta president, Audrey Poitras stated that the Métis Nation of Alberta is proud to be a part of this exciting initiative.

“I would like to commend the Government of Alberta, for their commitment to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to actions related to education. The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada is an important tool that provides Indigenous perspectives shared through maps, artwork, history, culture and more. The true history of our peoples has never been taught in our schools. We need to build more understanding between our cultures and it can start simply by a young child picking up the atlas. I believe that it is up to every person to get educated on Canada’s true history, ” said Assembly of First Nations Alberta Regional Chief, Marlene Poitras.

An interactive website and educational app has also been designed for students to access along with the four volume atlas.

Photo supplied: minister Eggen, minister Feehan, minister Mason and other dignitaries at Ben Calf Robe School on January 18th, making the atlas announcement.