Steps to addressing the Indigenous teacher shortage: Editorial

Deanna Matthews, director of Impact and Learning at Teach For Canada—Gakinaamaage and a member of Sachigo Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario, has penned an editorial for the Toronto Star about what needs to be done to address the teacher shortages in Indigenous communities. Matthews explains that teaching experience gained in the North is not recognized by many Canadian school boards, placing teachers at a disadvantage if they want to eventually teach in the south. Yet, Matthews writes, teachers in the north often work with greater independence and responsibility off the bat and can quickly become a part of their local community. This results in “immense professional and personal development” that should be viewed as an asset and attributable towards salary bands and seniority in the south. “At a time when actionable reconciliation is at the forefront for Canadians, there is a real opportunity for teachers to both grow their careers and make a difference for students who need it the most,” Matthews concludes.

The Star