students at a table talking Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools Initiative

Launch an Elder and Knowledge Keeper in Schools initiative in schools across Manitoba, with the program expanding in the 2022/23 school year to more schools.


What's New

On January 24, 2023, on the International Day of Education, Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning released The Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools Initiative Symposium – What We Heard, 2022.


The Commitment

The initiative supports students, educators, and families in learning First Nations, Métis, and Inuit histories, languages, and cultures, traditional values and knowledge systems, and contemporary lifestyles.

The Elders and Knowledge Keepers Initiative and Mamàhtawisiwin reflect the government’s responsibilities under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action Number 62, which identifies education as being a key component to reconciliation.


What This Means for Manitobans

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning’s vision is that "All Manitoba children and students succeed, no matter where they live, their backgrounds, or their individual circumstances."

The K to 12 Education Action Plan includes the guiding principle of "Advancing Truth and Reconciliation, achieving equity, ensuring inclusion, striving for excellence, prioritizing well-being, and enhancing accountability."

The Elders and Knowledge Keepers in School Initiative brings forward respectful and relational learning opportunities led by Elders and Knowledge Keepers toward these goals.


What We've Done

On April 26, 2022, Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning announced $1.6M to support provincial wide implementation for the 2022/2023 school year. This included an annual Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools Initiative Symposium to promote shared and collective community learning, as school divisions requested opportunities to learn from the engagements and events within the Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools initiative pilots.

On Thursday, November 17, 2022, Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning was pleased to invite Elders and Knowledge Keepers working alongside School Divisions, Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools Initiative Advisory Council Members, Indigenous Inclusion Directorate Advisory Council Members, Community Consultation Participants, Superintendents, and Indigenous Education Leads to the First Annual Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools Initiative Symposium in Winnipeg. Over 230 attendees enjoyed presentations and discussions.


Next Steps

  • Guidelines for Respectful Community Engagement within Schools, informed through the school pilots and various consultations, are being finalized. They will embed the guiding concepts found within the Four Rs: Relevance, Relationship, Respect, and Reciprocity. Each of these ways of being support and strengthen our understandings of how to engage with community in what many Elders, Knowledge Keepers, grandparents, and community members refer to as "A Good Way."
  • Consultations with northern, rural and urban Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and school division leaders for strategic planning and implementation of the 2022/2023 schools initiative began in August 2022 and are ongoing.

Advisory Bodies: Indigenous Inclusion Directorate Advisory Council

News Releases


Reports