Canadian Education Trend Report: Anti-racism and Multicultural Education

Description of Some Current Activities in Canada

Coordinated Approaches

Federal/National Interprovincial Provincial/Territorial
PCH (Multiculturalism) has published a series of reports citing evidence related to racism.

PCH has summarized a CCSD report on immigrant youth.

PCH funded a study of Canadian educational policies and practices (Tator & Frances, 1991)

PCH has funded research into developing assessment tools to diagnose systemic racial discrimination that can be used by school systems (Agocs & Jain).

PCH has funded research into the most effective forms of race relations training (League of Human Rights, B’Nai Brith).

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) commissioned a research review on aboriginal education in 1998. This paper outlines problems and potential solutions. A similar paper, commissioned for the same research forum, outlined the research on ESL, education against bias, aboriginal education and racial inequalities. A 1999 paper done for the CMEC cautions against equating cultural minority status and risk of school failure too directly.

Another paper prepared for the 1999 CMEC Forum described the state of education for African Canadians, with emphasis placed on developments in Nova Scotia.

PCH sponsored a series on school board policy activities in the mid-eighties, including a school trustee visitation program, a manual and other activities.

The African Canadian Services Division, located within the the Nova Scotia Department of Education, was established in February of 1996 to implement the Department's response to the BLAC Report on Education, Redressing Inequity Empowering Black Learners.

As part of a comprehensive policy on ethnic diversity, the Quebec education ministry has issued a policy statement on how schools can promote diversity and respect. This accompanies a Plan of Action issued by the ministry. The Ministry also has established a division responsible for serving the needs of cultural communities and a School Guide on Intercultural Education that is accompanied by a booklet with a series of case studies.

The Quebec education ministry has a program, to support multiculturalism within the CEGEP system that includes funding and other supports. on how minority students are integrated within the French language CEGEP’s have been published.


Reports on how minority students are integrated within the French language CEGEP's have been published.

The Ontario education ministry has published a policy guide and directive to school boards encouraging a comprehensive, coordinated approach.

The Saskatchewan education ministry has a comprehensive policy and action plan on multicultural education.

The BC education ministry published a policy framework and action plan in May 2001. The ministry has published a handbook and video to encourage schools to take action. The ministry also funds multicultural groups to support schools and communities. Multiculturalism and ESL are noted as topics of interest in the nomination process.

The BC education ministry has a branch responsible for aboriginal education. That part of the ministry promotes the Native Studies course at senior high school, a plan and program to develop learning resources, a handbook for support workers, tracking of aboriginal student achievement, summaries of research done in BC, examples of effective aboriginal education programs and school district-tribe agreements on improving aboriginal education. The ministry has a list of school district contacts and a listserve on aboriginal education.

The Canadian Council on Multicultural and Intercultural Education (CCMIE) has published a report on Canadian policies on multicultural and antiracist education.

The Canadian Anti-Racist Education and Research Society maintains a hatewatch and incidents page.

The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association has published a policy framework and several guides on equity in education, including administrator preparation for aboriginal education, a progress report, a report on recruiting aboriginal teachers, a policy guide on racial incidents, a cost-benefit analysis for school boards on implementing equity education and a effective practices guide on Indian education.

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation has published an overview/fact sheet of the school, parent and community role in preventing racism.

 The Coalition for the Advancement of Aboriginal Studies has identified practical strategies for non-reserve schools to use in serving aboriginal students. (See CRRF Project Description.) The CRRF has also funded a research project (Solomon, 1999) examining the pre-service preparation of teachers.

The B’Nai Brith League for Human Rights maintain an annual count of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada.

The Cross Cultural Communications Centre has published practical advice to teachers is a series of "Letters to Marcia " by Enid Lee.

A Canadian publisher, Detselig Enterprises, has published a text on comprehensive, school-community approaches by Sonia Morris. Green Dragon Press has published a comprehensive annotated bibliography.

The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers sponsored a series of articles in the form of a report on the state of the art of multicultural education in 1993.

 Practical examples of schools working closely with their communities to prevent racism can be found in Winnipeg, MB and Surrey, BC and Riverview, NB.

Provincial NGO
PCH published a Resource List of educational materials in 1998.

PCH has published two teacher's guides (1 & 2) as part of the March 21 campaign.

The Public Service Commission published a comprehensive listing of resources on diversity in 1998.

The Western Canadian provinces and territories have established a shared set of learning outcomes for aboriginal education and on heritage languages. The Western Canadian Protocol on shared learning outcomes in includes a section on aboriginal perspectives.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has sponsored a web site with a collection of educational resources depicting the historical contribution of Canada’s many diverse cultures.

PCH has funded a research project into Canadian secondary school curricula and cultural differences (Blades, Johnson & Simmt, University of Alberta).

PCH has funded research into the effectiveness of human rights education on changing youth attitudes and beliefs (Covell & Howe, University College of Cape Breton).

PCH has funded research on how to integrate antiracist education into teacher education programs in universities (Solomon).

An optional course is offered in Quebec CEGEP’s for minority students and others to understand the diversity of Quebec.

The Ontario education ministry has authorized additional qualifications courses for teachers in multiculturalism and in teaching aboriginal students. The ministry has also published resource guides on religion and diversity, the use of the Mohawk language and other aboriginal languages.

The Manitoba education ministry has an Aboriginal Education Directorate that is infusing aboriginal perspectives into all Manitoba curricula, promotes the Native Studies program, offers summer professional development institutes, has published a bibliography of educational resources on aboriginal education, a bibliography of educational resources on anti-racist education and on Black History, Conflict Resolution, multicultural library services, the holocaust, human rights, multicultural perspectives in mathematics, and collections of resources in multicultural education and native studies. The ministry has also established policy guidelines on ESL instruction at all grade levels and published resource guides for teaching German and Spanish. More recently, the Manitoba ministry has announced new distance education courses in international languages, and published online bibliographies on Spanish education. The ministry maintains several different sections of its website that are relevant to multicultural/antiracist education.

The Saskatchewan education ministry requires that multicultural aspects be integrated within its social studies curriculum. As well, respect for other cultures is part of the Common Essential Learnings that guide all curricula in the province., including Language Arts, Art Education, Communications Studies and others. Students receive a course credit for multicultural education. The ministry offers an infused Native Studies program at all grade levels with full courses at the senior high school level. Similarly, heritage language learning is infused at all grade levels and senior high school courses are offered.

The Alberta education ministry requires that its social studies curriculum, family studies curriculum address cultural diversity. Respect for others and diverse cultures is part of the provincial standards of teaching. Alberta offers optional senior high courses in Cree and Blackfoot and in German, Ukrainian, Japanese and Spanish. The ministry has published a discussion paper on heritage languages and a policy directive on aboriginal education. A guide to ESL programs has been published to accompany a ministry ESL policy directive. The ministry has a policy directive on how schools and teachers should deal with controversial issues.

The BC education ministry requires that multiculturalism be addressed across most curricula, including history, math, languages arts, physical education etc. Each course has an appendix that addresses diversity. Multiculturalism is required study for all BC students. There is a student evaluation component that assesses student progress in acquiring the knowledge and skills required. The ministry has a similar curriculum infusion goal for aboriginal education. The ministry authorizes courses in Punjabi, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, German. All BC students are required to study a second language. The BC education ministry has published a policy framework on ESL that is supported by the development of ESL standards and guidebooks for regular teachers and ESL specialists.

The BC Safe School Centre maintains a list of educational resources on diversity.

The BC Community Learning Network, funded by the education ministry maintains a list of online educational resources.

The NWT education ministry is implementing two aboriginal language education (Inuit and Dene).

The Yukon education ministry follows the BC Native Studies curriculum.

The Canadian Council on Multicultural and Intercultural Education (CCMIE) has published a 1999 study on teacher education, is sponsoring a youth education report project designed to help students with high debt loads, has published a list of educational materials available on loan, as well as an annotated bibliography of educational resources and publishes a journal on Multiculturalism.

The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation has published a listing of educational resources.

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation has funded the publication of annotated bibliography on educational resources.

The Bronfman Foundation sponsors heritage fairs with students that include multicultural aspects.

The Toronto Board of Education published a guide for adult educators on antiracist education in 1991.

The BC Teachers Federation has published a task force report on aboriginal education and sponsors a specialist teachers council.

A collection of educational resources in French can be found at an antiracism web site sponsored by the B’nai Brith.

The National Film Board has published a list of films and videos.

TV Ontario has published a list of resources and educational strategies.

A list of French language resources and Internet sites can be found at a web site hosted by the University of Laval.

The SchoolNet Grassroots program has funded over 60 class or school Internet projects that relate to multiculturalism.

The CSQ in Quebec has published a action guide on human rights and has supported antiracist education for several years.

The Canadian Education Association published a review of Heritage Languages in 1993.

Social Support
Federal/National/Interprovincial Provincial/Territorial NGO
PCH is sponsoring a World Youth Conference on Racism. In 2000 PCH sponsored the Stop Racism Youth Tour. The PCH also sponsors a video competition and a student essay contest. As well, the campaign includes a special event planner for schools.

PCH has published an interactive, youth oriented site on human rights called CREDO.

Several provinces have established "safe schools" initiatives that include responses to racism as part of their mandate.

The federal Treasury Board published a guide for employment equity programs in 2000.


The New Brunswick Department of Education has published a guide on involving aboriginal parents in schools.

As part of an inventory of best practices on parental involvement, the Quebec education ministry has included a success story about involving parents from different cultures.

The Alberta education ministry support the Safe and Caring Schools Program of the Alberta Teachers Association that seeks to ensure a positive learning environment.

The CCMIE has listed resources for schools to celebrate March 21.

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation has a youth section on their web site that promotes youth action.

A report on zero tolerance policies funded by Justice Canada and done by the Canadian Association of Principals (CAP) includes an analysis of provincial/territorial guidelines for school codes of conduct that can include anti-racist policies.

The Canadian Ethnocultural Council has published a booklet on antiracism parenting.

The Canadian School Boards Association has published a guide on employment equity for school boards.

Support Services
Federal Provincial/Territorial NGO
  The BC education ministry has published an evaluative report on counseling services provided to aboriginal students and a guide for support services workers on aboriginal education.