As B.C. celebrates National Aboriginal Day, Aboriginal culture will play a bigger role in more B.C. classrooms with the signing of Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements in Richmond, Peace River South and North Vancouver.
These agreements bring Aboriginal culture into B.C. classrooms for the benefit of all students, and also support strong co-operative relationships between local Aboriginal communities and school districts.
Education Minister George Abbott took part in the signing ceremony for Richmond's first Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement this afternoon. This agreement is a commitment from education partners to work together to improve the success of all Aboriginal students and help all students and staff have a better understanding of Aboriginal peoples in B.C. and Canada.
With Richmond's first agreement signed, B.C. now has 52 school districts that have signed Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements. A number of districts - including North Vancouver and Peace River South - have signed their second agreement. Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Campbell River and Kamloops-Thompson have each signed their third agreement.
Goals in Richmond's agreement include:
- Increasing student transition rates in all areas, specifically when transitioning between schools, between grades and beyond secondary school.
- Increasing opportunities for students with Aboriginal ancestry to develop their personal leadership abilities and to engage in leadership opportunities within the schools and in the broader community.
- Supporting students with Aboriginal ancestry to gain a strong sense of belonging and confidence through pride in their cultural heritage.
- Seeing all students in Richmond demonstrate a deeper understanding and appreciation of the histories, languages, and cultures of Aboriginal Peoples.
Goals in North Vancouver's second agreement include:
- Improving the sense of belonging and presence of students of Aboriginal ancestry.
- Increasing the awareness and provision of healthy choices that will enhance the wellbeing of students of Aboriginal ancestry.
- Increasing the academic success of students of Aboriginal ancestry.
- Increasing the number of students of Aboriginal ancestry who graduate from secondary school motivated to further their education, realize their career goals and pursue their dreams.
Goals in Peace River South's second agreement include:
- Increasing a sense of belonging for Aboriginal students.
- Increasing Aboriginal students' academic success through a focus on family involvement with schools.
- Increasing Aboriginal students' engagement.
Provincial funding for Aboriginal education in 2010-11 is $61.5 million ($1,160 per student).
Richmond school district: http://www.sd38.bc.ca/
North Vancouver school district: http://www.nvsd44.bc.ca/
Peace River South school district: http://www.sd59.bc.ca/
B.C.'s Aboriginal Enhancement Agreements: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/agreements/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education