Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education
Student Group:
K-7 Students
Secondary Students

The Vancouver Board of Education, the Aboriginal Communities and the Ministry of Education continue to work together to improve the educational experiences for Aboriginal students.

Aboriginal Education

The Vancouver Board of Education, the Aboriginal Communities and the Ministry of Education continue to work together to improve the educational experiences for Aboriginal students.  

Together we have created the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement - 2016 to 2021 that embodies the shared visions and commitment of all participating parties to the success of Aboriginal students in the following areas:

· Belonging  

· Mastery of Skills  

· Culture and Community

As well, students have the opportunity to obtain additional support provided by the district’s Aboriginal Programs and Services. The Aboriginal Program and Services are delivered to enhance the student’s educational experiences which align with the above stated goal areas of the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement.

The programs and services are available throughout the school year to elementary, secondary and alternative program students for who have identified or have had parent/guardians identify them as having Aboriginal ancestry (First Nations, status and non-status, Métis, and Inuit) on the school registration form.

The Vancouver Board of Education offers these additional services in a variety of ways:

*  Support Services provided by an Aboriginal Education Enhancement Worker or Aboriginal Education Enhancement Teacher,  which may include cultural, academic, social and emotional support, parent liaison and advocacy;  

*  District-wide cultural projects, resources, leadership opportunities, and celebrations  

*  School based cultural programs and/or courses.

All VSB students participate in a variety of cultural projects offered throughout the district.

Aboriginal Education Department

Learning Services

District Principal, Aboriginal Education...................................................................................................................... Don Fiddler

Consultant, Aboriginal Education...........................................................................................................................Chas Desjarlais

Cultural Coordinator, Aboriginal Education.............................................................................................................. Trudi Harris

Knowledge Keeper, Elder in Residence.................................................................................................................. ......Shane Pointe

Clerical Support..................................................................................................................................................... .....Diane den Otter

Aboriginal Education Enhancement Teachers

Brandon Peters                                              Daphne Wale                                       Davita Marsden

Kyle Ross                                                        Liz Krieg Michelle Martin                   Shannon Dolen

Sohan Dulai

Aboriginal Education Enhancement Workers

Amanda White                           Angela Nabess                        Bonnie Wendt                             Carmen Helin

Deborah Bell                              Dee Hughes-Slade                   Dena Galay                                  Donna Lokhorst

Ernie LaRochelle                        Fran Bolton                              Godwin Barton                           Jacquelyn Nadrazsky

Jennifer Sherif                            Joyce Perreault                       Judy Ronnenberg                         Kristina Leon

 Loretta Williams                       Megan Haggerty                     Michelle Sylliboy                       Pat Forrest

 Reid Narcisse                             Robin Roberts                         Shawna Tait                               Suzi Bekkattla

 Tori Johnson Ayi-Bonte            Trent Gauthier                          Wendy Ryan

CLICK HERE to see Staff Organization, Programs and Services Or Scroll Down

 

Aboriginal Education Programs & Services 

 Aboriginal Education Grade 12 Achievement Celebration

· A year-end celebration to recognize the achievements of Grade 12 students as they continue their educational journey in becoming the leaders of the future.

Aboriginal Education Grade 12 Retreat

· Aboriginal students will be given the opportunity to enhance their team building and leadership skills through the teachings and guidance from our Aboriginal educators and leaders

Aboriginal Education Grade 7 Moving Forward Ceremony

· A year-end celebration that honors aboriginal students’ transition from elementary to secondary school. The celebration highlights the significance of life-long learning and the students continued success in education.

 First Peoples Festival

      *    The Festival provides opportunities for students and staff to enhance their understanding of Aboriginal culture, traditions and history by engaging in interactive workshops lead by local Aboriginal educators and professionals from the community. 

Additional Programs at the District Level

 There are three District Aboriginal Alternative Programs in the Vancouver School District: Outreach School, Cedar Walk, and the Aries Project. Each is housed at a different site and offers a specific program design.

 OUTREACH PROGRAM

Address:  1001 Cotton Drive, Vancouver, B.C. V5L 3T4 

Telephone:              604-713-5911 

Fax:         604-713-5730 

Administering School:            Britannia Secondary School 

Program Description: 

The Outreach Program is located above the Vancouver Public Library on the Britannia Secondary School site. Outreach is an alternative program for students of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage. The program’s curriculum delivery model and learning environment is structured to engage all learners through an Aboriginal perspective or ways of knowing. Outreach offers a continuous academic progress program. The program staff strives to assist students to improve their academic and social/emotional skill development. All students complete courses leading to a B.C. Secondary School Graduation Certificate (Dogwood) or Adult Dogwood. The staff assists the students in developing a Transition Plan to prepare them for post-secondary education or employment. Students can access counselling services and a rich aboriginal cultural component. Students are provided with opportunity to engage in a variety of community initiatives.

Student Profile:

The Outreach Program is designed for students of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Ancestry who are between the ages of 15-19, grade 10 to 12.

Academic Goal:

Student progress is managed through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process which involves the student, the parent/caregivers and program staff. At Outreach students can complete grades 10- 12. Adaptations are made where necessary to meet the needs of the students. In addition to providing educational and recreational programming, the staff is dedicated to working with students to provide social, emotional and cultural support. Outreach can assist students to access post-secondary education or employment opportunities when they transition from the program.

Referral Process:

An Outreach Program Referral requesting placement must be submitted to the Youth and Family Worker at Outreach. Referrals are accepted for students 15 -19 years of age from Aboriginal Support Workers, Youth and Family Workers, counsellors, administrators and self-referrals. The Youth and Family Worker will arrange an intake interview with the student and his/her parents/caregivers. After the interview all successful applicants will be placed on a waitlist until space becomes available. Outreach operates on a semester system. Intakes occur in September, November, February, April and June.

Program Capacity and Staffing:

Outreach enrolls 30 students and has 2 VSB Teachers and 2 Youth and Family Workers.

ARIES PROGRAM

Address:  #1 – 1607 East Hastings, Vancouver, B.C. V5L 1S7

Telephone:              604-255-1326

Fax:         604-255-0743

Administering School:            Vancouver Alternative School

Program Description:

Aries is a program where Aboriginal youth aged 13 - 16 are provided a safe, non-threatening environment in which to learn, grow and enjoy life, regardless of behavioral problems, legal situations, family, or personal backgrounds. Aries provides a flexible learning environment which includes self-paced components in order to meet the student’s unique learning needs. Grade 8 - 10 core academic subjects are offered. Electives include: life skills, cultural enrichment, video projects, Health and Career Education 8 and 9, Planning 10, Physical Education, arts/crafts, educational outings and cooking.

Student Profile:

Aboriginal youth ages 13 - 16 years old in the care of MCFD and/or Aboriginal delegated agency and youth that have ongoing MCFD and /or Aboriginal delegated agency involvement. These youth present social, emotional, behavioral and/or cognitive difficulties, and have been unsuccessful in a regular secondary school or other alternative program. They also require a team approach which includes but is not limited to school staff, Social Worker, Probation Officer, parent/caregiver, mental health worker and/or one-to-one worker to help them to be successful. Students referred to this program meet the Ministry of Education criteria for designation in the “H” category.

Academic Goal:

Student progress is managed through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process which involves the student, the parent/caregiver and program staff. Aries students can complete grades 8, 9 and 10. Adaptations and modifications are made where necessary to meet the needs of the students. In addition to providing educational programming, the program staff is dedicated to working individually with students to focus on their social, emotional and mental health needs. Transition Plans will be developed to provide transition to a senior alternative program, secondary school, vocational program or employment.

Referral Process:

Referrals from MCFD or Aboriginal delegated agency Social Worker or Probation Officer are emailed to the MCFD Youth Services Community Liaison. Referrals are accepted on an on-going basis and reviewed by a MCFD/VSB screening committee to determine eligibility, placement and priority.

Program Capacity and Staffing:

Aries enrolls 20 students and has 1 VSB Teacher, 2 Youth Workers, 1 Program Coordinator and 1 Cook employed by Urban Native Youth Association.

CEDAR WALK PROGRAM

Address:  1043 Kingsway, Vancouver, B.C. V5V 3C7

Telephone:              604-708-9130

Fax:         604-708-9160

Administering School:            Vancouver Alternative School

Program Description:

Cedar Walk provides a respectful, safe, and culturally relevant environment to address the needs of Aboriginal students who have an extended history of non-engagement in school. Cedar Walk provides social, emotional, mental health, physical and spiritual support to students through sports and recreation, arts and crafts, aboriginal cultural enrichment, field trips, alcohol and drug support, life skills and health information.

Student Profile:

Aboriginal youth ages 16 - 19 years old in the care of MCFD and/or Aboriginal delegated agency and youth that have ongoing MCFD and/or Aboriginal delegated agency involvement. These youth present social, emotional, behavioral and/or cognitive difficulties, and have been unsuccessful in a regular secondary school or other alternative program. They also require a team approach which includes but is not limited to program staff, Social Worker, Probation Officer, parent/caregiver, mental health worker and/or one-to-one worker to help them to be successful.

Academic Goal:

Student progress is managed through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process which involves the student, the parent/caregiver and program staff. Cedar Walk students can complete grades 10. Adaptations and modifications are made where necessary to meet the needs of the students. Academic upgrading and job readiness skills are an integral aspect of the Cedar Walk Program. In addition to providing educational programming, the program staff is dedicated to working individually with students to focus on their social, emotional and mental health needs. Transition Plans will be developed to provide transition to a senior alternative program, a vocational program, or employment.

Referral Process:

Referrals from MCFD or Aboriginal delegated agency Social Worker or Probation Officer are emailed to the MCFD Youth Services Community Liaison. Referrals are accepted on an on-going basis and reviewed by a MCFD/VSB screening committee to determine eligibility, placement and priority.

Program Capacity and Staffing:

Cedar Walk enrolls 20 students and has 1 VSB Teacher, 2 Youth Workers, and 1 Program Coordinator employed by Urban Native Youth Association.

More Information

· Aboriginal Education Cultural/Curriculum Project Fund: The aim of the Aboriginal Education Cultural/Curriculum Project Fund is to provide and support projects for Aboriginal learners that promote academic success, positive self-esteem and cultural awareness in cooperation with educators, families and community members. Each year, schools can apply for project funds.

Students can complete grades 10- 12. Adaptations are made where necessary to meet the needs of the students. In addition to providing educational and recreational programming, the staff is dedicated to working with students to provide social, emotional and cultural support. Outreach can assist students to access post-secondary education or employment opportunities when they transition from the program.