Caleb Child

Caleb Child

Sooke School District and First Nations sign new curriculum agreement

The document, known as Na’tsa’maht, is a five-year working agreement to improve the success of aboriginal students.

The beginning of a new age of education dawned at the T’Sou-ke Nation Community Hall in Sooke on Tuesday after a new aboriginal school curriculum was signed by local First Nations and Sooke School District officials.

The document, known as Na’tsa’maht, is a five-year working agreement created by the school district, local First Nations communities and the Education Ministry to improve the success of aboriginal students.

Over the year, the new curriculum will go through its introductory stages both for teachers and students, from kindergarten to Grade 12.

As the curriculum takes shape, so will its inclusion of each community’s distinctive First Nation groups, said David Strange, the school district’s assistant superintendent.

“Part of our history in the district has been looking at it as a whole, but then how do we bring in individual First Nations and trends of their background, their history, their languages, their culture?” he asked, adding this is part of the curriculum’s goal in the coming years.

Na’tsa’maht not only goes towards improving the quality of education for aboriginal students, but for all students in the district, said schools superintendent Jim Cambridge.

“We need to engage in our second curriculum. We need to make sure that all of our 9,000 students in the school district understand where we come from, where we live and how we got here,” he said.

“We need to help students recapture their lost languages.”

School district board chair Bob Phillips also expressed optimism for the new curriculum, calling it “a new beginning.”

“The theme is listening and understanding. This document will provide that support to understand how to begin again with aboriginal education, and that we must do this together,” Phillips said.

Most important, Na’tsa’maht is meant to become symbiotic with the existing school curriculum in a way where everyone can connect and understand.

“We want the curriculum to be natural, to make sense, to grow together,” said Kathleen King-Hunt, district principal for aboriginal education and early learning.

“In the Sooke School District, there is energy around aboriginal learning, and the enhancement agreement has brought up a lot of that authentic energy and interest.”

King-Hunt added school staff and students will focus on learning about the document this year with the support of a curriculum coordinator, and in its second year, they’ll be creating activities and initiatives to take it further.

The Sooke School District has 1,120 aboriginal students out of a total of about 9,200.

Many school districts in B.C. have such agreements, including Greater Victoria, Saanich and Gulf Islands.

 

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read