We call upon post-secondary institutions to create university and college degree and diploma programs in Aboriginal languages.

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusOct. 4, 2021IN PROGRESS
Previous StatusSept. 5, 2021IN PROGRESS

Why “In Progress”?

Universities Canada indicates that over 50% of universities offer Indigenous language courses and Colleges and Institutes Canada is committed to an Indigenous Education protocol including “Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments.

Indigenous Education Accord: the Association of Canadian Deans of Education

In recognition of their responsibility as deans, directors and chairs of university education faculties to work towards the transformation of the Canadian education system at all levels, the Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE) signed the Accord on Indigenous Education on June 1st, 2010.


As a national organization, ACDE supports and encourages increased national dialogue and cooperative action for improving Indigenous education. All institutions signing the Accord on Indigenous Education are expected to aspire to its vision, principles, and goals in their education programs and research initiatives. Signatories will use the Accord on Indigenous Education to guide program review and transformation, working collabora- tively to prioritize the educational purposes and values of Indigenous communities and people.


The vision is that Indigenous identities, cultures, languages, values, ways of knowing, and knowledge systems will flourish in all Canadian learning settings.


ACDE believes that this Accord:

  • supports a socially just society for Indigenous peoples;
  • reflects a respectful, collaborative, and consultative process with Indigenous and non- Indigenous knowledge holders;
  • promotes multiple partnerships among educational and Indigenous communities; • values the diversity of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing and learning.


Recognizing the need for transformative educational change and acknowledging the unique leadership responsibilities of deans, directors, and chairs of education within the Canadian university context, ACDE supports, endorses, and fosters the numerous goals including:

  • To affirm and revitalize Indigenous languages, supporting Aboriginal communities and involving other faculties in the promotion, reclamation, restoration, revitalization, and teaching of Indigenous languages


Universities Canada: Third Annual Building Reconciliation Forum – 2017

Higher education and Indigenous leaders from across the country reinforced their commitment to action on reconciliation through higher education as the third annual National Building Reconciliation Forum, hosted by the University of Manitoba, wrapped up yesterday in Winnipeg. At the closing ceremony of the forum, it was announced that the University of Victoria has been selected to host the 2018 forum which will focus on Indigenous language revitalization and economic growth of Indigenous communities.  Just over half of Canadian universities offer Indigenous language courses, and since 2015, there has been a 57 per cent increase in courses taught in which the language of instruction is an Indigenous language.

Spurred by the 2015 Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the annual forum brings together leaders from universities, colleges and Indigenous communities to create meaningful and lasting institutional change in the higher education sector to advance reconciliation. Working with the local host institution, Universities Canada plays a national coordinating role in the annual events to ensure momentum and follow up.

Colleges and Institutes Canada Indigenous Education Protocol

In order to reaffirm the importance of Indigenous education, Colleges and Institutes Canada, in consultation with its members and partners in indigenous communities has developed an Indigenous Education Protocol. This important document underscores the importance of structures and approaches required to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities.

This protocol is founded on seven principles including “intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples” and “Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments” that aim to guide the institutions who will agree to sign on to this aspirational document.

  1. Commit to making Indigenous education a priority.
  2. Ensure governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples.
  3. Implement intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples through curriculum and learning approaches relevant to learners and communities.
  4. Support students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
  5. Commit to increasing the number of Indigenous employees with ongoing appointments throughout the institution, including Indigenous senior administrators.
  6. Establish Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments for learner success.
  7. Build relationships and be accountable to Indigenous communities in support of self-determination through education, training and applied research
Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

The Government of Canada is not the lead on a response for Call to Action # 16.