Lisa Moore is the Indigenous education support worker at Revelstoke Secondary School. (Contributed)

Reclaiming and sharing her Indigenous identity

Women of Inspiration in Revelstoke

~ Sobia Moman

When the previous support worker for Indigenous education had moved to work in another school, Lisa Moore reluctantly took the opportunity to fill the role at Revelstoke Secondary School.

Indigenous culture was not very prevalent in her life growing up, which Moore decided she wanted to change. “I didn’t know anything about my own culture. I always knew that I was Métis and my mom was never embarrassed about that, but we didn’t know what that might mean. So part of it was me trying to learn which is hard to do when there’s not a community nearby,” she said.

In order to give the best possible support to teachers, Moore reached out to neighbouring Indigenous communities.

She took the time to learn about her own ancestry and connect with it, then moved on to teach and share it with others.

Along with learning about the devastating history, mistreatment and abuse of Indigenous peoples, Moore also wants to spread the successes of the culture.

“Attitudes now are different from when I first started. Nobody was against it, but it was very token at the beginning. It was not embedded everywhere, which is what we’re trying to do now in the B.C. education system, trying to embed Indigenous ways of knowing and being throughout the curriculum,” Moore said.

Connecting with nearby Indigenous communities and Elders is something that Moore continues to do. This is important to her and necessary for educating others because most Indigenous knowledge is not available in standard textbooks.

Another aspect of Moore’s work is to help the Indigenous students in the school and help them be successful, whether it be finding post-secondary scholarships for them or just creating a safe space.

Working with students and seeing them be interested and wanting to learn about Indigenous cultures is Moore’s favourite part of the job.

“The fact that people might find this inspiring is just wonderful because there was a long time when my work would not have been inspiring to anybody,” she said.

Moore is also a member of the board of the Indigenous Friendship Society.

The group is for Indigenous people to come together and have support available to them by Moore and other Indigenous educators.

The society also has an outreach program for non-Indigenous people to become better allies.

“I’m so privileged now that I’m able to do this and be proud of the work that I do as opposed to my grandmother who fought against racism or was affected by that racism her whole life because it wasn’t good to be Indigenous at that point,” Moore said.

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