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Aboriginal Education

  • Code: HAA.AR
    Topic: Aboriginal Education
    Issue Date: 24/05/2007
    Effective Date: 22/05/2007
    Review Year: 2012

Regulation

  1. RESPECT AND RECOGNITION
    Schools are expected to provide opportunities for all students to become knowledgeable about Aboriginal values and culture and to demonstrate respect and recognition of Aboriginal values and culture. In fulfilling this expectation, schools may:
    • invite Elders and other knowledgeable people into the classroom
    • permit use of sweet grass and practice of smudging in the school
    • celebrate National Aboriginal Day on a yearly basis
    • employ Aboriginal protocols in meetings with parents and in dealing with disciplinary matters
    • acknowledge through permanent and rotating school displays of Aboriginal art, symbols and student work that Aboriginal students are part of the school community
    • use district supports such as the Aboriginal Collection On-line, Aboriginal consultants and liaison workers.
  2. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
    To ensure community involvement, the District will:
    • maintain an external Aboriginal advisory committee
    • establish alliances with Aboriginal agencies and organizations in support of shared goals for Aboriginal students and families
    • develop and maintain alliances with post-secondary institutions to support effective transitions
    • establish relationships with Treaty and Métis authorities
    • employ strategies to encourage the involvement of Aboriginal families
    • support schools to develop and maintain respectful dialogue and partnerships with Aboriginal agencies and organizations, as well as others serving Aboriginal families, to provide resources that respond to the complex needs of some members of the Aboriginal community.
  3. STAFFING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
    To assist all staff to become more knowledgeable about Aboriginal values and culture, the District will:
    • provide Aboriginal cultural sensitivity training for all staff.
    • for new hires to the district provide Aboriginal cultural sensitivity training as soon as possible but within two years of employment.
    • provide opportunities for staff to participate in professional development regarding:
      - infusion of Aboriginal outcomes, including the resources that support the outcomes
      - practices related to the "oral tradition," holistic approaches, hands-on experiences, and other research-based approaches found to be effective with Aboriginal learners.
      - working effectively with Aboriginal families.
  4. ACHIEVEMENT
    For programming purposes and internal use, the District will:
    • track the achievement of self-identified Aboriginal students, including graduation rates
    • track the attendance and retention rates of self-identified Aboriginal students
    • track the involvement of Aboriginal students in various alternative programs (e.g., International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Registered Apprenticeship Program and special education)
    • disaggregate Aboriginal student achievement results at the school level for schools with sufficient numbers of Aboriginal students for reporting purposes
    • report the tracking data to the Board of Trustees.

      All schools are encouraged to nominate Aboriginal students for a Nellie Carlson Award or other awards as appropriate.
  5. CURRICULUM
    The District will support the continued evolution, development and use of the Aboriginal collection online.

  6. PROGRAMS AND PROGRAMMING
    The District will annually consult with the Aboriginal community regarding the demand and support for Aboriginal language alternatives and develop programs as required.
    • The District on an ongoing basis will research and evaluate effective practices in Aboriginal education and provide this information to school and district staff.
    • The District will encourage participation in research studies related to Aboriginal education.
    • The District will sponsor workshops and seminars related to Aboriginal education.
  7. ASSESSMENT
    The District within its own decision units and in partnership with external groups will research and evaluate assessment instruments and practices as they relate to Aboriginal students and provide this information to school and district staff.

  8. ENHANCED SUPPORTS FOR LEARNING
    1. The District will encourage and support effective transitions by:
      • establishing links with reserves in the region with the intent of developing practices that will support the transition of students between reserves and the district and between schools in the district
      • assisting schools to liaise and collaborate with Head Start programs, home visitation programs and child care providers to support the transition of students between early learning and district programming
      • establishing links with Aboriginal employment agencies, organizations and programs (e.g., Oteenow, Yellowhead Tribal Council) to support the transition of students to the world of work
      • collaborating with post-secondary institutions to support the transition of students to a range of post-secondary opportunities.
    2. The District will support a range of strategies to encourage and support students to stay in school, including:
      • collaborating with community organizations to extend, establish and maintain a range of supports, including Aboriginal mentoring and role-model programs
      • investigating alternative provision of counselling through Elders and Aboriginal agency staff
      • using alternatives to Attendance Board such as community conferencing.

References

HAA.BP Aboriginal Education