A celebratory feast highlighted the signing of a second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement for the Surrey school district.
Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements are five-year agreements that enhance the education of Aboriginal learners through programs and actions promoting academic success, positive self-esteem and cultural awareness. Work on the second agreement included all partner representatives, parents, elders, community members and school district staff.
Surrey has one of the largest Aboriginal student populations in the province with close to 3,400 students self-identifying as Aboriginal for the current year. Since signing its first agreement in 2008, the Surrey school district has instituted a House of Elders program. This program builds connections between schools and the Aboriginal community, helps students gain respect for traditional knowledge and skills, and builds self-esteem in Aboriginal students struggling to connect at school.
As well, the district has nine cultural facilitators who collectively offer more than 1,600 presentations on Aboriginal culture and history in classrooms each year. Another highlight of the Surrey Aboriginal Education program is the opportunity for Aboriginal students to participate in experiential and culturally based outdoor experiences at the WindSpeaker Leadership Camp. To view a video of the camp, visit: http://vimeo.com/62966570
Minister of Education Peter Fassbender -
"These Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements continue to support Aboriginal student achievement while encouraging the sharing of our rich Aboriginal culture and history that benefit all students."
Surrey board chair Shawn Wilson -
"I want to thank all those who work so hard every day in support of Aboriginal learners in the district and a special thanks to those who have worked to craft this second agreement so that this important work may continue."
- The Surrey school district is located on the traditional territory of the Katzie, Kwantlen and Semiahmoo First Nations.
- Provincial funding for Aboriginal education in 2011-12 was $63 million (through a supplement of $1,160 per student).
- "Aboriginal" is a term used by the government of B.C. and is inclusive of the Métis, Inuit and First Nations as outlined in the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982, s. 35.2.
Surrey school district: www.surreyschools.ca
BC's Education Plan: www.bcedplan.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education