A colourful ceremony marked the signing of the second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA) to support Aboriginal student achievement in the Fraser-Cascade school district.
AEEAs are five-year agreements to enhance the education of Aboriginal learners through programs and actions that promote academic success, positive self-esteem and cultural awareness.
The second Fraser-Cascade AEEA was developed through staff and community consultation with representatives from 13 First Nation Bands as well as Off-Reserve delegates from the Métis Nation of BC, Agassiz, Boston Bar and Hope.
Since signing the first AEEA in 2006, the Fraser-Cascade school district has witnessed an increase in academic achievement among Aboriginal students, who make up more than one third of the district's student population.
A traditional dinner was served before the signing ceremony, which featured a Welcome and Honour song by the Chawathil First Nation.
Minister of Education George Abbott -
"My thanks to the many partners who supported Aboriginal students in the district through the first agreement. With a strong foundation to work from, I'm pleased the parties renewed an agreement that will help them deliver even greater achievements in the years ahead."
Fraser-Cascade board of education chair Ron Johnstone -
"As we work to help make Aboriginal students welcomed and valued in our schools, we also provide an opportunity for all students to benefit from the rich culture and history of the Stó:lo, Nlaka'pamux and Yale Nations."
- SD 78 is located in the traditional territories of no less than 13 First Nations: Boston Bar First Nation, Boothroyd Indian Band, Chawathil First Nation, Sts'ailes Band, Cheam First Nation, Peters Band, Union Bar Band, Seabird Island Band, Spuzzum First Nation, Scowlitz First Nation, Shxw'owhamel First Nation, Skawahlook First Nation, and Yale First Nation.
- The school district has witnessed improved academic achievement since it signed the first AEEA in 2006:
- Improvement in Early Reading Assessment scores for Aboriginal learners: 94 per cent of kindergarten students met or exceeded Letter Sounds in 2009-10, compared to 84 per cent in 2005-06.
- Improvement in report card marks for language arts for grades 8 to 11.
- Improvement in report card marks for Science 10.
- AEEA are five-year agreements.
- To date, there are AEEAs in 53 B.C. school districts. Ten districts have signed their second AEEA and four districts have signed their third AEEA.
- Provincial funding for Aboriginal education in 2010-11 was $62.9 million (supplement of $1,160 per student).
Fraser-Cascade school district: http://www.sd78.bc.ca/
B.C.'s Aboriginal Enhancement Agreements: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/agreements/
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education