French-Language Public School System Commits to Working Actively Towards Reconciliation
Toronto, August 25, 2021 – The Board of Directors of the Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario (ACÉPO) is committed to advancing reconciliation in Canada, particularly in the Ontario education system.
ACÉPO was saddened to learn of the recent discoveries of burial sites near several residential schools in Canada. This tragic chapter in our history denounced for years by Indigenous peoples is a clear example of systemic racism in its institutional form. Though some discriminatory laws have been repealed, the attitudes, prejudices and systemic racism are still prevalent in today’s society. ACÉPO believes it is crucial to achieve true reconciliation and implement the 94 calls to action in order to promote social cohesion.
“We extend our sincere condolences to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples who have suffered tremendously, and we wish to assure them that they have the support of all French-language public school boards in Ontario,” indicated Denis Chartrand, ACÉPO Chair.
Schools play an important role in the knowledge dissemination process, as they are the ideal setting for youth to learn about Indigenous history as well as solidarity, tolerance and inclusion. ACÉPO genuinely seeks to actively contribute to the reconciliation process, and commits to:
Placing special emphasis on education about our country’s Indigenous history
Combatting stereotypes and stigmas
Enhancing our relationships with Ontario’s Indigenous communities