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Welcome Back, Aboriginal Education 2023-2024


Welcome back to Aboriginal Education, 2023-2024.

Aboriginal Education (ABED) services of School District No.8 are designed at the school, aligned with the district’s strategic plan, to support the success of Aboriginal students (Status First Nations and Non-status, Métis, Inuit), supporting pathways to graduation from kindergarten to Grade 12.  

ABED supplemental supports are designed through the Aboriginal Education Focus Areas:

  • Hold high hopes and expectations for all students.
  • Provide opportunities to share stories of Aboriginal history, culture, and diversity: “The truth about stories, is that is all we are.” T. King
  • Aboriginal students, families, and communities guide Truth before Reconciliation.
  • Nurture holistic Aboriginal resilience and brilliance through belonging, pride, identity.

Full ABED Focus Area Document. This Aboriginal Education Focus Areas document represents the results of community consultations throughout the district from 2018 to 2022, as a continuation of the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement process and history. This document was designed in consultation with as many Aboriginal voices as possible to help us move forward with pathways to success for Aboriginal students. Consistently, the district self-identified Aboriginal student population is 20% of all students.

The ABED department creates opportunities for all students and staff to learn and grow together, in the spirit of Reconciliation.  September begins the year with Orange Shirt Day and the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, which will be honoured at schools with school-based assemblies.  If you are a parent and would like to learn more broadly about Truth and Reconciliation, here are some links for you: TRC, Reconciliation Canada, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.  If you are wondering about how to participate, it can be by wearing an orange shirt during the week of September 25th, participating in a local community event, or wearing an orange pin.  Chief Robert Joseph shares teachings on having conversations at the kitchen table, sharing what you have learned and questions that still need to be answered.  There are also some incredible Indigenous films and music, available through your favorite viewing/streaming services.  These are easy to find!  This time of year, there is an opportunity for all of us to slow down, reflect, and create a personal action forward…taking one more step toward Reconciliation.  Together, we are moving in the right direction.

This year, we look forward to continuing with several learning opportunities for students.  Each school site designs a program that fits for the specific school, staff strengths, and student dreams and needs.  We are so honoured to do this important work and continue to support Aboriginal students with pathways to graduation and all students with deep awareness to these incredible lands we live, work, and play on.

Kukwstsétsemc ~Thank you,

Gail Higginbottom

(Secwépemc, Esketemc First Nation, she/her/hers)

District Principal, Aboriginal Education