Indigenous Teacher Education Initiative

The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is at the beginning stages of work to support dramatically increasing the numbers of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis teachers by 10,000 and to promote the systemic changes necessary in leading to more sustainable Indigenous teacher employment opportunities in all areas of the country. Made possible through generous philanthropic support by the Mastercard Foundation, the RHF will be investing in excess of $45 million towards innovative community-driven approaches to achieving these objectives.

This long-term journey will involve the RHF:

  1. Working through collaborative partnerships that empower and amplify new and existing initiatives in pursuit of these system-wide objectives, including the support of:
      • Promotion of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis educator pathways that integrate outreach and awareness in middle and secondary schools;
      • Dramatic expansion of the number of qualified First Nations, Inuit, and Métis K-12 teachers in pursuit of a representative workforce;
      • Structural creating of conditions for meaningful and sustained Indigenous teacher employment;
      • Indigenous-led research outlining the opportunities and challenges related to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis teacher education and representative K-12 educational workforces
  2. Listening and learning, followed by concrete actions and funding that supports innovative Indigenous-led and community-driven approaches. Throughout 2021 the RHF engaged in listening and learning from many Inuit, First Nations and Métis teacher education programs across Canada. Throughout this process, we are encouraged to see a mix of both pride and humility in current achievements, barriers being overcome, and the vision and commitment towards future growth and impact. This process of listening and learning will continue throughout 2022 as we work towards sector wide allyship-based support.
  3. Working, through allyship, with Métis, First Nations and Inuit teacher education initiatives to enhance current capacities and support promising pilot projects across the country. Our partnerships will be informed by Indigenous-led initiatives led by local Indigenous communities working in collaboration with universities and colleges – focused on the recruitment, education, and employment of Indigenous educators.
  4. Supporting knowledge mobilization: we will collaboratively work towards filling a critical research and data void by supporting an Indigenous-led body of evidence, outlining opportunities and challenges experienced around Indigenous teacher education and representative K-12 educational workforces. Our approach, while national in scope, will reflect regional and cultural differences while empowering and amplifying First Nations, Inuit, and Métis leadership in education.
  5. Strengthening networks, through potential investments and an exploration of formal and in-formal networks in support of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis teachers, teacher candidates, and educational systems.

In keeping with the RHF’s approach to supporting system-wide change and lasting impact, we will work with Indigenous partners, partners in education, the private sector, and with varying levels of government to accomplish these goals.

Interested applicants for the National Advisory Committee are asked to reach out to indigenous.autochtone@rhf-frh.ca by September 30, 2022.


Committee Co-chairs

A woman with grey hair in a beaded dressRoberta L. Jamieson, O.C., I.P.C, LLB, LLd (Hon), Director, RBC and Deloitte Canada and Chile, co-chair of CN’s Indigenous Advisory Council,former President & CEO, Indspire and Board Director at Rideau Hall Foundation.

Roberta Jamieson is a Mohawk woman who has achieved many firsts. They include being the first First Nation woman in Canada to earn a law degree; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. As President of Indspire, Canada’s largest Indigenous charity, Roberta oversaw an eightfold increase in bursaries and scholarships. Charity Intelligence Canada named Indspire as one of the 10 Canadian Charities with the most impact and Macleans and the Financial Post chose it as one of Canada’s Top Charities. Since 2004, Indspire has given a record $153 million in bursaries and scholarships to 49,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada.

During her time at Indspire, Roberta launched several highly successful initiatives: the first National Gathering for Indigenous Education, a unique conference where educators meet and learn the best practices for improving educational outcomes for K–12 Indigenous students; Rivers to Success, which supports mentorships for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students in high school, allowing them to attend post-secondary institutions and move into employment; the Indspire Research Knowledge Nest, which promotes Indigenous scholars and publishes the research and data that encourages investment in Indigenous education and employment; and Teach for Tomorrow, an innovative program training hundreds of Indigenous educators, and supporting them from high school though to employment.

Since leaving Indspire, Roberta has continued her involvement in philanthropy, most recently as a Founding Visionary of the Prosperity Project. Roberta has long been recognized as an effective and visionary member of corporate boards. She is currently a member of the board of directors of Deloitte Canada and Chile and the Royal Bank of Canada. She is also co-chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council advising the Board and CEO of Canadian National Railway on matters relevant to CN’s relationship with Indigenous communities in Canada. At Prime Minister Trudeau’s request, she served on the inaugural Gender Equality Advisory Council during Canada’s G7 Presidency. Roberta Jamieson has received 30 honorary degrees, earned numerous awards and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Mark S. Dockstator is the Former President of the First Nations University of Canada. A member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, he is currently an Associate Professor, Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, at Trent University and Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative at Queens University. He received his Doctorate of Laws Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University where, in 1994, he was the first First Nations person to graduate with a doctorate in law. His doctoral dissertation, entitled “Toward an Understanding of Aboriginal Self Government”, is a blend of Indigenous and Western knowledge and was used as a foundation for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples final report. Dr. Dockstator has served as founding Chairman of the First Nations’ Statistical Institute, Senior Negotiator and Researcher for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, President and CEO of Rama Economic Development Corporation, Special Advisor to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People and Special Advisor to the Chief Commissioner of the Indian Land Claims Commission, to name a few. Dr. Dockstator is a Board Director at the Rideau Hall Foundation.

Get the latest updates
A group of youth, walking and laughing
Sign up for the RHF newsletter and recieve news directly to your inbox
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.