iSMSS Stances on the K-6 Curriculum

Dr. Glynnis Lieb - 21 April 2021

The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) stands with the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and its call for a halt on the implementation of the proposed K to 6 Alberta curriculum.

As an institute grounded in research, we echo the concerns addressed by nearly 30 school boards across Alberta regarding the content and the development process of this curriculum. We also join the list of equity-seeking groups who do not see themselves adequately or accurately reflected in this proposed curriculum.

Upon initial examination, there is no mention of sexuality and sexual orientation in the curriculum. Gender diversity is mentioned once in kindergarten. Diverse family structures are only mentioned once and not until the third grade. The apparent erasure of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and their families is very concerning. These topics can be addressed through age-appropriate learning tools from kindergarten to Grade 6 that can help build empathy, understanding, and acceptance of 2SLGBTQ+ students. Based on extensive research that our institute and others have conducted, we know that these topics must be discussed openly and respectfully to tackle instances of homophobia, bullying, and discrimination in our schools.

This proposed curriculum threatens to reverse the progress that has been made towards providing honest, respectful, and accurate information to students. This curriculum does not foster the spirit of diversity and inclusion and does not create an environment of belonging for all students. We hope that with future consultation from educators, Elders, and voices representative of the diversity we hold as Albertans, we can work together to rebuild and improve this curriculum. 

I encourage you all to take the time to review and read the 2021 Draft K-6 Alberta Curriculum. Please have your say and share your feedback by completing the Government of Alberta’s Curriculum Survey. Our 2SLGBTQ+ children, teachers and staff deserve to see themselves represented in their curriculum.


Dr. Glynnis Lieb
Executive Director
Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services (iSMSS)