The Arrow Lakes school district (SD 10) signed their second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement today.
Developed with parents, students, teachers, administrators and the community, the agreement further strengthens and supports Aboriginal student achievement and success in the district.
The agreement establishes the following commitments to Aboriginal students in the district:
- Provide opportunities for Aboriginal students to enhance their sense of belonging and pride in their Aboriginal ancestry;
- Provide interventions for holistic success – physical, mental, social and emotional health;
- Provide district-wide Aboriginal cultural events;
- Identify and provide learning support to at-promise students of Aboriginal ancestry;
- Provide learning opportunities for school staff to enhance awareness and understanding of Aboriginal culture and learning styles; and
- Support healing by embracing and promoting Aboriginal cultural diversity.
These five-year agreements are a commitment by school districts, local Aboriginal communities and the Ministry of Education to work together to enhance the educational achievement of Aboriginal students through programming that supports First Nations history, culture and language.
This agreement builds on government’s work to include Aboriginal history, culture and perspectives into British Columbia’s new curriculum. To support teachers in bringing Aboriginal content and perspectives into the classroom, government has created a resource guide called Aboriginal Worldviews Perspectives in the Classroom.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“Arrow Lakes continues to support all students in their district with their second agreement. No matter the size of the district, these agreements help Aboriginal students experience a sense of belonging, self-respect and pride of heritage.”
Lora Lee Brekke, chair, Arrow Lakes Board of Education –
“The Arrow Lakes Aboriginal Education Advisory Council has worked with school district 10 Arrow Lakes and the communities in the district over the last two years on the renewal of the Enhancement Agreement. Several community meetings were held to obtain public input, and the advisory council then reviewed and put together our second Enhancement Agreement.
“It was a very thorough and thoughtful process, one in which the board of education was thrilled to be included and to have input. I am happy to have our second Enhancement Agreement renewed and look forward to many more years of exciting and thoughtful dealings with the Aboriginal Education Advisory Council.”
Ganishka Silverfox-Dann, Elder, Arrow Lakes Aboriginal Education Advisory Council –
“As a Cree and Ojibwa Elder in the West Kootenays, I am proud to see the changes that have been made in school district 10 from the last signing of the Aboriginal accord. Our youth want some extra help with traditions and ceremony to be able to hold onto the past as well as walk in the future. Our school district teachers are trying to pass these on with help of the Elders and different programs that are available in the West Kootenays.”
- To date, 56 school districts have at least one agreement signed, while 35 districts have signed a second agreement, five districts have signed three agreements and two districts have signed four agreements. In total, 107 agreements have been signed.
- SD 10 has an Aboriginal population of 85 Aboriginal students or 18.7% of the 454 students in the district in for the 2015-16 school year.
- SD 10 recognizes the Ktunaxa to the East, the Shuswap to the North, the Okanagan Nations to the West and the Sinixt People.
- Total K-12 Aboriginal enrolment in B.C. public schools is 67,636 or 10.7% this school year.
- Since 2000, the provincial six-year completion rate for Aboriginal students has increased from 39% to 63%.
Arrow Lakes School District Aboriginal Education: http://sd10.bc.ca/learning-programs-and-services/aboriginal-education/
Aboriginal Education: www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed
B.C.’s New Curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/