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Indigenous Education


We acknowledge and thank the Coast Salish people, upon whose traditional territory the North Vancouver School District resides. We express our gratitude to the Squamish Nation and Tsleil Waututh Nation and we value the opportunity to learn, live and share educational experiences on this traditional territory.Recognition of unceded traditional territories, spoken prior to commencement of meetings and events

In the North Vancouver School District we have identified three pathways for Indigenous Education as priorities to school and district development. These priorities were determined through consultation and collaboration with the Indigenous Education Advisory Council.

The identification of these specific pathways was informed by the Enhancement Agreement Process, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the introduction of a more Modern Curriculum. Essential to developing these pathways is enriching the educational experience of all students in Indigenous Ways of Knowing.

We believe that authentic Indigenous Education is important to all students and staff and enables the development of an educated person. In addition, we believe enriching the educational experience for all students and maintaining a targeted support for students of Indigenous Ancestry will develop a more educated citizenry and raise achievement rates for student with Indigenous Ancestry.

The Three Pathways

The Student Pathway

A student focus orientation that includes the First Peoples Principles of Learning embedded into each Learning environment – Through this pathway students are provided the opportunity to enhance their learning through authentic experiences which include an understanding of place, history, and belonging.

Goal: Develop multiple ways of viewing problems and solutions that incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning.

Key Actions:

Provide classroom resources that reflect the Indigenous People Principles of Learning

  • Enhance student advocacy roles to speak on Indigenous issues via District Student Leadership
  • On-going embedded professional development that promotes critical thinking with the Indigenous paradigm
  • Student focused school based initiatives that promote understanding of First Principles of Learning

Our knowledge and understanding of the educational needs of students of Indigenous ancestry continues to evolve

Measure of Success/Indicator of Progress:

  • Student awareness of understanding the Indigenous Peoples Principles of Learning – Through concrete representation within student work
  • Student debate and voice (example of permanent product is a student blog, student forums, etc.)
  • Graduation rates of Indigenous students
  • Explicit and embedded teaching of First Principles of Learning in classrooms
  • Curriculum resources that provide authentic Indigenous content
  • Improved academic achievement in numeracy and literacy testing
  • Increase in students enrolled in Math Foundations
  • Student led initiatives based on Indigenous ways of knowing

The Educator Pathway

An employee focus that ensures staff are provided the tools to support school and community learning and development. Employee development includes activities that enable shared understanding, cultural competence, and a history of local knowledge in order to support authentic Indigenous Experiences within the School Community. Key to Employee Development is the engagement and connection with local First Nations Communities.

Goal: To develop the educator competence to enable critical thinking within an Indigenous paradigm.

Key Actions:

  • Invest in educator led networks of practice with a focus on Indigenous ways of knowing

Measure of Success/Indicator of Progress:

  • Educator awareness of understanding the First Peoples Principals of learning – appetite and interest in professional development
  • Teacher lessons and units that have authentic embedded Indigenous content and perspectives.
  • Educator development on the Go Forward with Courage rubric from awareness to advocacy
  • Educator comfort and competence in teaching Indigenous history, perspectives, and culture

The Community Pathway

A community focus highlights and informs our Community on Canadian History and reality of the Indigenous people of Canada. This focus intends to build an appreciation of Indigenous culture, local First Nations customs, and traditional ways of being. Essential to the Community pathway is the recognition and appreciation that we are ‘one’ learning community.

Goal: To bring our Community together as a whole which is fully inclusive of the perspectives and relationships required to promote a positive yet diverse learning culture.

Key Actions:

  • Focused and ongoing meetings with community stakeholders such as the Board of Education and Chief and Council of local First Nations, and the District Indigenous Education Council
  • Cultural customs and events that intentional bring our communities together and develop our perspective of Indigenous ways of knowing

Measure of Success/Indicator of Progress:

  • Positive relationships within and across our communities
  • School and PAC initiatives and/or events that are representative of Indigenous knowing and culture
  • Information sharing and school communications that provide an aboriginal story that highlights the work of students and teachers
  • Students and adults from our Indigenous Communities feel welcome and a member of our school communities

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