8.3.3 Intercultural education
The role of intercultural education in assisting the process of social cohesion in a democratic context is an important aspect of a state's response to diversity. Moreover, intercultural educational measures, which include interculturally-educated teachers, as well as multilingual policies, which attempt to improve intercultural relations and non-centric curricula, help create inclusive, stable and peaceful and democratic polities (Gundara 2001 / 02). While intercultural education is not generally part of the Federal government's cultural policy mandate, there are growing numbers of government initiatives in regard to intercultural education, which is often defined as multicultural education. Some examples of such involvement at the Federal levels include policies, programmes and studies funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage and Citizenship and Immigration Canada on aspects and instruments of change in relation to racism and discrimination, including Aboriginal and multiethnic groups and citizens, resource lists of educational materials, teachers' guides for primary, secondary and university education, employment equity programmes and human rights education.
At the provincial level, a wide range of education studies, policies and programmes exist such as Quebec's School Guide on Intercultural Education, Aboriginal education directorates in the provincial ministries of education, distance education curricula, studies and curricula on heritage languages as both subject and language of instruction, online educational resources, and parental involvement in educational curricula and life-long learning. In respect to NGOs, studies and advocacy are conducted by organisations as the Canadian Council on Multicultural and Intercultural Education, the Canadian Anti-Racist Education and Research Society, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the Coalition for the Advancement of Aboriginal Studies, the B'nai Brith League of Human rights, the Bronfman Foundation, various Teachers Federations, the SchoolNet Grassroots Programme with school Internet projects, and the Canadian Ethnocultural Council (Education Indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Programme, Statistics Canada 2007).
For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.