Updated: Nov 19, 2018
Two inspiring workshops I attended at Indspire 2018 reinforced my belief that accommodating indigenous students in a non First Nation school benefits all students.
At both of these schools programs offered to First Nation students are open to all students, enriching curriculum for everyone.
Beyond programming, however, truly accommodating the indigenous child means incorporating the Indigenous philosophy of "honoring the child", and teaching the "whole child" - emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual. What a beautiful approach to education!
This is not something that can be applied to First Nation students only. It would be odd to "honor" one child, and not another. It was evident in these workshops that having the Indigenous worldview permeate the schools benefits all the students.
A School of Belonging
Virden Junior High School, Virden, MB
Lola Thunderchild, Education Assistant, Canupawakpa Dakota Nation
Don Nahachewsky, Principal
Virden Junior High School accommodates students from Canupawakpa Dakota Nation, south of Virden, Manitoba.
What really stood out listening to Dan and Lola present was the pride they have in the work they have done to accommodate their students from Canupawakpa Dakota Nation, and the mutual respect and admiration they have for each other, and the roles that each of them play in this work.
Go Forward with Courage:
Meaningful Ways to Lead Your School Learning Community on a Powerful Journey
North Vancouver School District
Sanj Johal, Principal
Rob Smyth, Principal, Norgate Community Elementary - Xwemélch’stn
Rob spoke with great pride and humility about the honor and responsibility of the task they had taken on to be genuinely inclusive of the FNMI students at their school. He spoke of asking an elder, how does he do this work. He was told that they must "honor the child" and "incorporate the indigenous worldview into every decision."