On June 13th, 1996, the Governor of Canada proclaimed June 21st as National Aboriginal Day. This day, recognized across Canada, offers Aboriginal peoples an opportunity to share their rich and diverse heritage and cultures with family members, neighbours, friends and visitors.
First Nations, M�tis and Inuit people across Canada will be taking advantage of the day to celebrate and share in a variety of ways and in various locations. Events to be held in Vancouver during the day include:
- Henry Charles: First Nations Storyteller in Residence - Vancouver Public Library (11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.)
- Pancake Breakfast: Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre (1607 East Hastings 8:30 a.m.)
- Celebration march to Trout Lake: Starts at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
- National Aboriginal Day Celebration: Trout Lake (3350 Victoria Drive, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
- National Aboriginal Day Oppenheimer Park (400 Powell Street, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
At the Vancouver School Board, we want to highlight our Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement which is our foundation document outlining how we intend to support Aboriginal learners. The Enhancement Agreement has goals and objectives related to how we support Aboriginal learners and the document begins with two critical ideas which are:
- Each Aboriginal learner and family must experience a sense of belonging and place within educational settings, where their voices are heard, where they have choice and influence in decision making, and where their cultures, histories and contributions are respected and reflected.
- The Vancouver Board of Education will provide equity of opportunity for Aboriginal students, and be committed to the ongoing development of best-practice strategies for instruction, improvement and inclusion.
One of the ways in which the Vancouver Board of Education will provide equity of opportunity for Aboriginal students and attend to their unique needs is the recent decision to proceed with an Aboriginal-focussed school of choice. The Board of Education realizes that it is only through comprehensive support that the needs of all Aboriginal learners can be met. The Aboriginal school of choice is but one item in a much richer plan that begins with the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement and its goals and strategies.
On this day, we hope that all people take time to recognize and celebrate the cultures, contributions and achievements of First Nations, M�tis, and Inuit peoples.