Re: Ontario Introducing Mandatory Black History Learning | The Ontario Federation of Labour

Re: Ontario Introducing Mandatory Black History Learning

The following letter was sent by the Ontario Federation of Labour to MPP Stephen Lecce, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier on March 28, 2024:

Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
MPP Stephen Lecce, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier
Ministry of Education
5th Floor
438 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M7A 2A5

Re: Ontario Introducing Mandatory Black History Learning

Dear Minister Lecce,

The Ontario Federation of Labour(OFL)’s Black and Racialized Workers Committee applauds the recent decision of the Ontario Ministry of Education to introduce mandatory learning on the experiences and history of Black Canadians in the Grades 7, 8 and 10 History curricula, beginning in the 2025-2026 school year. This decision is similar to a resolution passed at the OFL’s 2023 Convention which reads;

The Ontario Federation of Labour will work through its Black and Racialized Workers Committee and affiliated organizations in the public school system in Ontario to develop a lobby and public relations campaign supporting the demand to include Black history in Ontario’s K-12 curriculum.

Ensure the OFL’s plan includes education workers learning about the critical role of Black communities in history before teaching and supporting this work with students.

Collaborate with community organizations leading the call for Black History inclusion in the curriculum, supporting their expertise and experience in updating the Ontario curriculum.”

At the OFL we embrace the belief that Canadian Black history is Canadian history. The recognition of the contributions of Black and African Canadians within the province’s mandatory updates to curriculum is one, as education is one, positive action toward tackling anti-Black racism at a critical time in the development of Ontario’s youth.

The OFL believes strongly that adequate resources must be allocated to this task and that the work of updating the curriculum must be considered a priority, funded, and treated as such when implementing this updated curriculum.

The OFL is pleased to see that in the government’s announcement, it is stated that when developing these new additions the Ontario government plans to consult with historians, educators, and the Black community which will inform the new learning.

The OFL represents over one million workers in Ontario; a significant portion of whom are from the education sector. As such, we are requesting to have representation and meaningful consultation to research and draft the updated curriculum. It is the OFL’s view that when the voices and contributions of all partners in education, including but not limited to, Black parents, caregivers, community advocates, Black historians, scholars and respective organizations, Black education staff from Ontario’s publicly funded systems, all education labour affiliates, and Federations, etc. are a part of every aspect of curriculum development, and implementation, that this comprehensive participation and input will serve to strengthen education in this province.

It is also of the OFL’s expectation that the Ontario Ministry of Education provide the adequate funding to support a Black History and Black Studies curriculum development pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12, for writing projects, professional learning, and development, as well as fulsome anti-racism and anti-Black racism training for all education staff.

The OFL, in particular, its Black and Racialized Workers Committee remains committed to participating in the successful implementation of the updated curriculum. We look forward to your response on this matter.




Executive Vice-President