The Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement is designed to enhance the educational success of our First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. We will focus on three main goals to ensure that our students are supported intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
Throughout the process of developing this agreement, we have understood the importance to the community of holistic and place-based learning within a circle of communication and respect. We continue to learn from the many parents, Elders, caregivers, educators and students in our Aboriginal community who have spent hours with us on this learning journey. We are grateful for their wisdom and patience in the consultation process.
Goal One – To improve the sense of belonging and presence of students of Aboriginal ancestry.
Rationale: This goal focuses on the emotional and spiritual development of each student. We have taken the lessons learned from our Aboriginal educators who have shared with us the importance of recognizing that all Aboriginal peoples have a thriving community. Our schools need to recognize and celebrate these communities and provide welcoming learning environments for students and families. The development of cultural awareness in our schools is an important enhancement for our Aboriginal students, but will also help our non-Aboriginal students to better understand the rich traditions and history of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation and other aboriginal people in our community.
Goal Two – To improve the academic achievement of Aboriginal students.
Rationale: This goal focuses on the intellectual development of each student who may be struggling academically. With a relatively small population of Aboriginal students in West Vancouver, we have tracked each student’s individual progress and are able to determine appropriate programs and support needed. We will use ongoing formative classroom assessments and district assessment tools to monitor student achievement and plan for educational programs. Increasing the academic success of students of Aboriginal ancestry is critically important to helping them progress beyond graduation and realize their hopes and dreams into adulthood.
Goal Three – To increase the use of accurate, authentic and relevant First Peoples’ Resources.
Rationale: The Ministry of Education is co-developing a comprehensive new curriculum that includes the First Peoples Principles of Learning as a guiding tool for teachers. The new curriculum also includes the current and historical context of Aboriginal Education with supporting resources. With a majority of our students being non-Aboriginal, it is very important that they follow curriculum with accurate, authentic and relevant materials to support learning.