Another significant step on the road to improving Aboriginal student success was taken and celebrated in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district today where partners signed a third Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA).
The agreement will further extend understanding of Aboriginal history, culture and perspectives to all students in SD 68 and members of the broader community.
Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements are a commitment by school districts, local Aboriginal communities and the Ministry of Education to work together to support Aboriginal students. SD 68 is the fourth school district in B.C. to sign a third AEEA.
For 2010-11, six-year completion rates for Aboriginal students in SD 68 were 52 per cent, up from 44 per cent for 2009-10. First-time graduation rates for Aboriginal students were 67 per cent in 2009-10, up from 48 per cent in 2008-09.
With a record number of Aboriginal graduates, more than 500 people were on hand this past May to celebrate Claynek (Aboriginal Graduation) at John Barsby Secondary.
Other examples of Aboriginal student success in the district include:
- In April, Cedar Secondary's Aboriginal film team won first place in the public service announcement (PSA) category in the Cowichan International Aboriginal Film Festival Youth FX competition for its anti-bullying message.
- In March, the Mid-Island Métis Nation co-sponsored and organized a cultural and games day for Barsby classes.
- Eleven students at Dover Bay Secondary worked together to create a northwest coast design mural for their school.
- SD 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) has approximately 2,200 Aboriginal students who make up 16 per cent of the overall student population in the district.
- SD 68 is located in the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Stz'uminus First Nation, and Snaw-Naw-As First Nation and is supported by the Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre and the Mid-Island Métis Nation.
- Instruction in the local First Nation language, Hul'qumi'num, is offered by two full-time language teachers at 12 schools: John Barsby Secondary, Ladysmith Secondary, Bayview Elementary and Georgia Elementary, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Bayview Elementary, North Cedar Intermediate, Fairview Elementary, Brechin Elementary, Ladysmith Primary and Intermediate and North Oyster.
- A number of Aboriginal-focused courses have been added to the B.C. K-12 curriculum including English First Peoples 10, 11 and 12, Math First Peoples 8 and 9 and B.C. First Nations Studies 12.
- Over the past 10 years, the completion rate for Aboriginal students in B.C. has increased by 11 per cent.
Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/agreements/
SD 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith): http://www.sd68.bc.ca/
Ministry of Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement