Grand Council Treaty 3 lawyer and staff advisor Douglas Judson said Indigenous youth often live in communities where access to health information is limited. (Douglas Judson/supplied) Grand Council Treaty Three has applied to intervene in a legal case filed by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario protesting the roll back of Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum.
The Ford government announced in July that it was repealing the 2015 curriculum amid objections to teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Part of the council’s concern with that decision is that the 2015 lesson plans better reflect diverse families in Canada, said Douglas Judson, a lawyer and staff advisor for Treaty 3.
Keeping the curriculum up to date is also a matter of equality, he said, because Indigenous youth are less likely than their peers to receive health-related information outside of school.
"Indigenous young people are more likely to live in a community that doesn’t have the same health services or infrastructure than other young people," Judson told CBC.
The legacy of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop has produced intergenerational trauma, which also impacts Indigenous young people’s access to accurate health information, because their parents aren’t always equipped to provide it, wrote Grand Council Treaty 3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh in his affidavit to the court.
"A robust and fact-based elementary school curriculum is vitally important for our youth, because it may be the only source of accurate health and sexual education information they receive. Despite ongoing efforts, our children in many cases may not have access to the same guidance at home as do their non-Indigenous peers," Kavanaugh wrote.
The council expects a decision on its motion Tuesday afternoon.
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