Education to Training and Employment Continuum
Throughout Ontario, Aboriginal women continue to make significant and meaningful social, political, and cultural contributions to our communities. Aboriginal women’s skills and knowledge comes in the form not only of traditional knowledge and cultural practices, but also through ecological knowledge passed down from our grandmothers and the roles we play in our communities as well as our formal education, training, and employment.
However, Aboriginal women’s education, training, and employment is often hindered when we enter school systems that devalue our knowledge, contributions, and experiences. Aboriginal people throughout the province continue to struggle within an education, training and employment continuum that is does not address our needs. It is well documented that an environment which devalues Aboriginal contributions and knowledge has an impact on education success and employability, but Aboriginal people may also suffer a range of wounds of the spirit and wounds of the psyche that can contribute to negative self-image and behaviours throughout our lives.
Seeing Aboriginal experiences, cultures and contributions respected and included throughout the education, training and employment continuum will better prepare both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities for success. Change along this continuum will only occur through a dialogue that builds a conscious understanding for the contributions that Aboriginal women and their families have made to this province. To produce positive outcomes for our people within the education, training and employment continuum, ONWA is conducting research on educating students about ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls, monitoring legislation, and participating in discussions related to the continuum with relevant provincial ministries.