Below is a summary of guidance given in the ‘Indigenous Education Community Partnerships’ policy of my School District:
- The Board believes in the importance of partnerships to build on the success of Indigenous students (K-12) who self-identify as First Nation, Métis and Inuit.
- The Board believes the best possible way to support the educational programs for Indigenous students is through the implementation of the District’s Enhancement Agreement. This Enhancement Agreement guides the Indigenous Education Programming, providing goals to enhance the emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual growth of our students.
- 3 collaborative structures to further the goals of the Enhancement Agreement:
- District Indigenous Education Council (“Council”)
The Council is comprised of representatives from the Board of Education, Westbank First Nation, Okanagan Indian Band, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Kelowna Métis Association, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, Lake Country Native Association and the Indigenous Parent and Family Education Council.The Council is supported by District staff.
- District Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (“Committee”)
The Committee’s mandate is to assist the Indigenous Education Council in the implementation of the Enhancement Agreement. The Committee assists the Council by identifying programs and service needs and provides input related
to designing, implementing, and assessing achievement of all Indigenous students. The Committee is generally comprised of representatives from those listed above.
- District Indigenous Parent and Family Education Council (“Parent Council”)
This Parent Council is comprised of parents and families of Indigenous students and provides feedback to the Council and Committee on the implementation of the Enhancement Agreement.
How this could inform my selection or creation of educational media or my teaching practice in general.
What this policy tells me more than anything is that in order to respect the Indigenous culture when creating or selecting Indigenous material, actively involving Indigenous Community members is paramount. This guidance and expertise can come from any of the 3 groups above whose overarching aim is to build on the success of Indigenous students (K-12) who self-identify as First Nation, Métis and Inuit. By bringing Indigenous voices to the forefront with the use of authentic Indigenous content, this will help Indigneous students feel respected and not culturally appropriated (Mayer, A, Mason, R , Palahicky, R and Rodriguez de France, C 2018).
Antoine, A., Mason, R., Mason, R., Palahicky, S. & Rodriguez de France, C. (2018, September 5). Section 4: Incorporating diverse sources of Indigenous knowledge In, Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers. BCcampus. https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationcurriculumdevelopers/