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GDI and the Provincial Curriculum Advisory Committee

by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Aug 5, 2020

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The Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) is represented on the provincial Curriculum Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC was established to develop recommendations for the Minister of Education from education sector and non-sector partners regarding potential changes to curriculum and Saskatchewan’s high school graduation requirements. The CAC will be in place until 2023.


The committee met in January and February 2020 to recommend areas of curriculum renewal. A number of recommendations went forward to the Minister for renewal of curriculum in the Practical and Applied Arts, Secondary Arts Education, and Secondary Social Sciences, including new social sciences courses for grades 10 -12 students which could replace some of the current social sciences options, as per the recommendation from the Secondary Social Sciences Reference Committee. GDI endorsed this recommendation after discussion and consultation with the Institute’s Adult 12 managers and faculty.


In June 2020, the CAC again met twice to discuss the foundational pieces of the curriculum—the Broad Areas of Learning and the Cross Curricular Competencies. These documents represent goals and concepts foundational across curricula, including the goals that students will develop a sense of self, community and space, be lifelong learners, and engaged citizens.


Some of the CAC discussion involved mining what might be missing from the foundational documents. Notes on the broad discussion are available in their entirety by request, but include the following:

  • To include knowledge and understanding of the significance of traditional territory in the foundational concept of “sense of place”
  • Add “resiliency” as a skill to be developed in students—the ability to adjust to unexpected and unplanned events
  • Developing attitudes of inclusion, valuing diversity, ability to think critically about taken for granted assumptions, recognize unearned privilege
  • Utilize the Cree concept of miyo wâhkôhtowin—good relationships/relatedness with others, the land, society; a connectedness and an obligation to our relations—intentionally include relationships and connectedness as skills, knowledge, and understandings to foster in students.
  • Skills, vocabulary, and language to talk about social justice and anti-racism

Suggestions and contributions are welcome to add to the above discussion. Comments can be directed to Lisa Bird-Wilson (see internal phone list for contact info). Please consider the following questions based on Métis-specific perspectives and in the context of GDI’s mission and values:

  • What are the most important qualities kindergarten to grade 12 youth should develop while in school and as they transition beyond grade 12?
    • Consider: knowledge, skills, attitudes, understanding, values, and processes.
  • What is important to include in future foundational pieces of Saskatchewan curricula, given current provincial pieces, as well as national and international trends?
    • What should be kept/updated that is currently foundational in Saskatchewan curricula?
    • What could be removed or given less emphasis in order to make room for emerging needs?
    • What should be added to address gaps or future needs of Saskatchewan students?

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