Through acts of reconciliation, support, and planning, School District 19 is making strides towards improving Indigenous education.
Revelstoke schools are teaching equity and Indigenous ways of knowing and learning through scheduled themes of equity for the 2021-2022 school year.
According to the school board, resources and assistance in planning will be provided to staff in order to further support learning and teaching related to Indigenous education.
The focus for September was residential school awareness, and a focus on reconciliation during orange shirt week and leading up to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
During Orange Shirt Week, ‘Every Child Matters’ flags were distributed to all schools in the district to be permanently placed in the building, and the Canadian flag at schools was flown at half-mast in honor of the survivors of residential schools and those who never returned home.
According to the school board, the ‘Every Child Matters’ flags raised in schools have been smudged with sweet grass and sage, and provide a visual starting point for the work that is to be done between students and teachers this year.
To start October, the board of education took part in a smudge ceremony with the Indigenous Friendship Society of Revelstoke.
The theme for October is the appropriation of Indigenous culture.
Themes for the rest of the upcoming school year include:
- November: Decolonization
- December: Storytelling
- January: Reflecting on the Fall
- February: Metis Nation and Louis Riel
- March: Anti-racism
- April: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- May: Red Dress Project
- June: The Year in Review
Principals will be providing space in their monthly newsletters to extend awareness for Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action.
The School District 19 Indigenous Education program also looks to connect children who self-identify as Indigenous with their belonging, culture, and identity through: support workers, social, emotional, and academic support, elder knowledge sharing, career and transition planning, and more.