A celebratory feast preceded the signing of New Westminster school district's second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA), which hopes to build on their dramatic improvement of learning outcomes for Aboriginal students.
Since the first AEEA was signed in New Westminster the six-year graduation rate for Aboriginal students has increased from 17 per cent in 2004-05 to 62 per cent in 2010-11.
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. Aboriginal Elders, support workers, cultural facilitators and artists in residence facilitate inclusive cultural awareness sessions for all staff and students throughout district schools. In addition to the cultural awareness, the district personalizes support for Aboriginal students to ensure they are successful.
This second New Westminster AEEA was developed over a two-year period through efforts of all partner representatives, parents, elders, and community members at large.
Minister of Education Don McRae -
"I want to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of all stakeholders that has led to this great success and I want to wish you continued success as you enter this second agreement."
New Westminster board chair James Janzen -
"The many cultural sessions held in New Westminster schools benefit not only Aboriginal students, but all of our students by exposing them to the rich culture and history of our Aboriginal communities."
- The New Westminster school district is on the traditional territory of the Qayqayt First Nation.
- SD 40 has a small Aboriginal student population with 447 (six per cent) of the 7,559 total number of students in the district identifying as Aboriginal.
- The Aboriginal community in New Westminster is an entirely urban, off-reserve population from diverse cultural backgrounds.
- Provincial funding for Aboriginal education in 2010-11 was $62.9 million (through a supplement of $1,160 per student).
New Westminster school district (SD 40): http://district.sd40.bc.ca/
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education