Further to the Board’s Three Year Education Framework, we have formed our division-wide First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Students Advisory Committee, a key strategy in Outcome Two: The Achievement Gap Between First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students and All Other Students.
The formation of the committee began with the vision to create “two-eyed seeing” (Hogue & Bartlett, 2014):
…learning to see from one eye the strengths of…the Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye to see with the strengths of… the Western (mainstream) knowledges and ways of knowing, but most importantly, learning to use both eyes together for the best of all (retrieved on August 29, 2016 from https://www.edcan.ca/articles/two-eyed-seeing/).
As a diverse committee of external, district- and school-based members, our goals are:
- To understand, share, and recommend strategies to enact Education for Reconciliation, which is part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (2015) within our school communities.
- To build capacity of all staff to bridge gaps in our First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students’ learning, achievement, and well-being through meaningful professional learning opportunities.
Advisory Committee Members:
- Edna Arcand, Elder, Alexander First Nation,
- Ella Arcand,Elder, Alexander First Nation
- Gary Gagnon, Escapio, Edmonton Catholic Schools
- Bishop Sylvain Lavoie, Archbishop Emeritus, Star of the North Centre
- Billie-Jo Grant, Rupertsland Institute
- Phyllis Kelly, Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Chair, Alberta Teachers’ Association
Every school has representatives who attend our advisory committee meetings, and those representatives focus on how best to bring back the information to their school communities and to build capacity of staff to learn and to enact our commitment to developing everyone’s capacities to support our First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students’ goals to thrive in school and in life.