Teach For Canada

  • Teach For Canada teacher, Caitlin, takes her Kindergarten students out for a nature walk in Sandy Lake First Nation.

    Photo: Teach for Canada

  • Teach For Canada’s Advisory Council is made up of education leaders from 19 First Nations.

    Photo: Teach for Canada

  • Teach For Canada teacher, Tyler, poses with a hole he just drilled through the ice in Sachigo Lake First Nation, while on an ice fishing trip with his Grade 4 class

    Photo: Teach for Canada

  • Teach For Canada hosts recruitment events across the country to find certified teachers who will be a good fit for the North.

    Photo: Teach for Canada

  • Teach For Canada’s 2018 cohort of 47 outstanding teachers during the Summer Enrichment Program

    Photo: Teach for Canada

  • The annual Summer Enrichment Program prepares teachers to live, work, and learn in a northern First Nation.

    Photo: Teach for Canada

  • During this Program, teachers participate in the Blanket Exercise, a experiential workshop that aims to foster understanding about Canada's history.

    Photo: Teach for Canada

BY THE NUMBERS

On First Nations reserves, 3 in 5 students do not complete high school

Since 2015, 155 Teach For Canada teachers have impacted 3,000+ students across 19 First Nations

Currently, 97 Teach For Canada teachers are located across 19 First Nations in Northern Ontario

A Mission of Inspiration and Empowerment

Boasting some of the best public schools in the world, Canadians can be proud of their home country’s strong and well-funded education system. And while many Canadian children benefit from this high-quality education, it remains that deep inequalities continue to exist throughout the country. This is particularly true across First Nations communities, where, on average, only 40 per cent of children living on reserves complete high school. While a number of historical injustices and deeply embedded cultural inequalities can be blamed for the significant education gap between First Nations and non-First Nations children, the problem is accentuated by a difficulty to recruit and retain quality educators in northern communities.

Finding the right candidates for the job

Founded in 2013 and inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action on Education, Teach For Canada operates on one principle: all children deserve a quality education, no matter where they live.

Guided by its values of humility, respect, collaboration, integrity and learning, Teach For Canada is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with northern First Nations and education leaders to identify and recruit teachers with the motivation and passion to succeed in northern First Nations. Their Teacher Development team, made up of experienced northern educators, hosts an intensive three-week training, educating the teachers themselves on First Nations histories, cultures, languages, and culturally-responsive pedagogies, as well as strategies for success in the North. Teach For Canada teachers make a minimum two-year commitment to work in the North, during which time Teach For Canada provides professional, personal, and peer support programs, including in-classroom coaching, access to mental health counselling, healthcare coverage, and more. With teachers well-prepared and supported through the realities they will face in the North, Teach For Canada is able to reduce the rates of teacher turnover in each community.

Currently, 97 Teach For Canada teachers are working with 19 different Cree, Ojibwe and Oji-Cree First Nations in Northern Ontario. Moreover, as of September 2019, the program will be expanding to Northern Manitoba.

Since the organization’s founding, these teachers have immersed themselves in the communities they serve and gone beyond helping in the classroom. They’ve worked to launch student councils, coach sports teams, start music programs, lead dance classes, develop school websites, organize field trips, run outdoor activities, and so much more. Overall, the teachers’ commitment to educating and inspiring First Nations youth has led to an increase in student attendance, engagement and achievement.

Working with the community

Collaboration is a concept deeply rooted in the organization’s founding values. With this in mind, team members take an oath to build and strengthen ongoing, collaborative, community-focused relationships with First Nations community partners and Indigenous organizations in an effort to create programs that are informed by the communities themselves, centered on the students and their long-term success.

These strong relationships are built on trust, transparency and an understanding that the entire process is community-directed. They ensure that partners are involved and participate in every step of the process: from recruiting and selecting the right teachers for the job, to preparing them for their new realities, to supporting each and every teacher throughout their journey.

“We are proud to support Teach For Canada and its mission to inspire and empower a new generation of Aboriginal Canadian youth,” says Paul Desmarais III, Senior Vice-President of Power Corporation. “A viable and quality education system is the basis for strong, healthy and vibrant communities. It is essential that Aboriginal youth be given the same educational opportunities as non-Aboriginal youth, which will help open doors, and provide hope for a better future.”

“We are so grateful for Power Corporation’s guidance and support,” says Teach For Canada’s Executive Director, Kevin Berube. “Since our very first conversation, it has been clear we share the values of respect, and collaboration. In Power Corporation, we have found a strong partner in the effort to achieve equal access to education for all students in Canada, no matter where they live.”

We are proud to support Teach For Canada and its mission to inspire and empower a new generation of Aboriginal Canadian youth.
Paul Desmarais III
Senior Vice-President
Power Corporation

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