Vivian ChuiOmineca Express
New school policy for aboriginal education — including the recognition of aboriginal territory at school assemblies and more local First Nation content in classes — is coming to Nechako Lakes schools this year.
The policy is rolled out in time with the provincial government’s new resource booklet “‘Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom: Moving Forward” to help teachers bring aboriginal culture, history and perspectives into their classrooms.
“This guide will be a nice way to support what teachers are doing these days, looking more closely in content and pedagogy — the ways of teaching and knowing,” said Calvin Desmarais, School District No. 91‘s principal in aboriginal education.
With themes such as relationships, language and culture, engagement with the community and land, emphasis on identity, and traditional teaching, the new booklet will be supported by the “Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation Teacher Resource Guides.”
“A lot of teachers have approached the residential school experience through novel studies and stories,” Desmarais said.
According to B.C.’s Ministry of Education, the First Nations Schools Association and the First Nations Education Steering Committee had developed the residential school guides for teachers in grades five, 10, 11 and 12 to help students of all cultural backgrounds understand the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people over Canada’s history.
“Teaching our kids about Aboriginal history and culture is critical to strengthening our relationships, communities and province,” said Mike Bernier, Minister of Education. “This new resource provides teachers with the framework they need to ensure that Aboriginal content is being taught in the classroom to help our children appreciate, understand and value the importance of Aboriginal culture and history.”
For more information, the “Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom” resource booklet can be accessed at https://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/awp_moving_forward.pdf or on the Ministry of Education’s new curriculum and the Aboriginal Education website.