Jun 10
Attendees at June 1 Forum

High quality mathematics + Indigenous educational leadership = First Nation student success!

A Forum celebrating The Math for Young Children – North West Gaa-maamawi-asigagindaasoyang Collective 

On June 1, the Robertson Program hosted a public forum highlighting the role of Indigenous educational leadership in improving the understanding of teaching and learning of mathematics. The event was a collaboration with the Indigenous Education Network, the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, the Indigenous Education Initiative, Rainy River District School Board, and Seven Generations Education Institute, as part of OISE’s deep commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Held at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, the forum brought together Elders, community members, researchers, educators, and policy makers from across Northwestern and Southern Ontario. It was an opportunity to hear how members of the Gaa-maamawi-asigagindaasoyang Collective explored how to teach and learn quality mathematics in a more inclusive, accessible, playful, culturally responsive and engaging manner. Gaa-maamawi-asigagindaasoyang is an Ojibwe word created by RRDSB Ojibwe language teacher Jason Jones that means, “Gathering to do and learn mathematics together.” Throughout the forum, the team demonstrated the importance of respectful and reciprocal partner relationships in advancing student success.

– Dr. Bev Caswell and The Robertson Team

Click here to read our pamphlet giving an overview of the initial design and findings of our research project
This pamphlet gives an overview of the initial design and findings of our research project.

What participants had to say…

The day was so inspiring, and the motivating messages will reinforce our continued efforts to do what we can do from ‘within’ to continue to hopefully have some positive effect not only for our Indigenous students’ academic experiences, but also for non-Indigenous students as well to have continued exposure to Indigenous ways of knowing and perspectives.

The work that OISE, the Robertson Program, and the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study team do is exactly the type of transformative education that offers an ideal balance between academic knowledge and content while also truly acknowledging and incorporating Indigenous knowledge. This can only have positive impact on the students.

– Sherry Mattson, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Leadership, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board


Thank you SO MUCH for inviting me to your symposium today. It was totally inspiring. Listening to you talk about the mathematics behind the work you are doing made me feel your passion, and recommitted me to incorporating this work wherever I go. It was a pleasure to see the absolutely ground-breaking and inspirational work of the Gaa-maamawi-asigagaindaasoyang Collective. The deep respect between all members of the group was evident, and it was clear that this is more about more than math — this is, indeed, about equity, social justice, and reconciliation. Thank you again for including me in this wonderful celebration.
-Nancy Steinhauer, Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education

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