Trends and Issues: Embracing Our Indigenous Communities
Parkland School Division acknowledges the historical significance and contributions of Indigenous People and their cultures and understands the important role that the Indigenous community plays today and in the future. The Division recognizes the need to take action to bridge and build our relationships with our First Nation communities.
As such, the Division continues to foster relationships with our Indigenous communities through the leadership of the Indigenous Education Facilitator, whose portfolio includes:
- Expanding understanding of Indigenous language and culture within our schools;
- Increasing awareness and understanding of best-practice approaches for engaging Indigenous learners leading to a reduced achievement gap through holistic approaches; and,
- Establishing stronger relationships through effective collaboration with our Indigenous community partners.
In addition to creating school-based supports for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, the Division is taking new steps to fulfill the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada that apply to the education system. These steps include the raising of the Treaty 6 flag in front of the Division office, the acknowledgement of the ancestral and traditional lands of the Treaty 6 Territory on which our buildings are located, and the Division’s commitment to ensure our schools foster Indigenous awareness and understanding by infusing Indigenous artifacts and language within our schools as a reminder of the history and importance of the Treaties.
The Division has also trained students to facilitate the Blanket Exercise; an interactive learning experience aimed at teaching the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada. The exercise covers 500 years of history in a 90 minute participatory session that deepens understanding of treaty-making, colonization, resistance, and reconciliation.