Today a traditional cultural ceremony is underway featuring drummers, singers and dancers celebrating the fourth consecutive Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement signed between the Ministry of Education, school district 72 (Campbell River) and local Aboriginal communities.
Members from Campbell River, Cape Mudge, Homalco, Klahoose, Kwiakah First Nations, along with Kwakiutl District Council, the Laichwiltach Family Life Society, Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council, and North Island Métis Association formally adopted the agreement today at a ceremony held at the Kwanwatsi Big House.
This enhancement agreement was developed with the approval of the Aboriginal community via the local Aboriginal Education Advisory Council. Input was gathered from the Aboriginal community through forums, meetings, and surveys. The consultation process included students, parents and caregivers.
The fourth agreement focuses on these goals:
- To increase all Aboriginal students’ sense of pride and ensure they have the opportunities to participate in and learn about their history, heritage and culture.
- Continued improvement in engaging parents, families, caregivers, educators, and community in ensuring all aspects of Aboriginal student success.
- Year-by-year improvement in literacy and numeracy achievement by all Aboriginal students at the elementary, middle and secondary school levels (K-12).
- Continued improvement in the transition readiness of all Aboriginal students at all levels.
- To increase the number of Aboriginal students who graduate with a Dogwood diploma.
In the past five years, the six-year completion rate for Aboriginal students in SD 72 has increased from 56% in 2009-10 to 64% in 2013-14. The provincial six-year completion rate has climbed to a record high of 62%.
Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education -
“It’s important for Aboriginal learners to graduate with pride and confidence in who they are as individuals and who they will become. This historic fourth agreement affirms a sustained commitment to honouring a partnership and pathway for continued improvement in the achievement of Aboriginal students.”
Susan Wilson, Campbell River board of education, chairperson -
“Campbell River School District is fortunate to have had a strong relationship with our Aboriginal community for over 35 years. We take great pride in the collaborative educational partnership that has developed between the district and our Aboriginal community. Over the course of our previous three agreements and through the work of our dedicated staff and the advice of our Aboriginal Education Advisory Council, more Aboriginal students are experiencing greater success in core subject areas, successfully transitioning from one grade level to the next, and graduating. Under this new agreement, we continue to strive for even greater levels of achievement and an increased knowledge and respect for Aboriginal histories, cultures and their significance for all our students.”
James Quatell, Elder, Campbell River Indian Band -
“It is vitally important to have healthy elders share their wisdom in the process and in the school and community to ensure a continuance of culture and language in the education of Aboriginal students. There are a lot of positives that come out of the Enhancement Agreement process. Being able to speak our truth and come together and reaffirm our work together is an important part of the process.”
- An Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement is a commitment by school districts, local Aboriginal communities, and the Ministry of Education, to work together to support Aboriginal student success.
- SD 72 was one of the original three districts to sign Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements 16 years ago in 1999.
- SD 72 has an Aboriginal student population of 1,113 which represents 21% of the total number of students in the district.
- In the past five years, the six-year completion rate for Aboriginal students in SD 72 has climbed from 56% in 2009-10 to 64% in 2013-14, which is higher than the provincial average. Once in grade 12, 96% of Aboriginal students have graduated in the last three years and last year 24% graduated with honours standing.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education