Four First Nations Studies 12 teachers from the lower mainland met at the Musqueam Cultural Centre on Friday, October 24th - our provincial pro-d day. Led by Burnaby teacher, Jacqui Ferraby, the teachers shared instructional ideas, collaborated on project design, met with Elder Larry Grant and engaged in discussion with band member, and lawyer, Leona Sparrow on landmark court cases.
According to Hamber teacher Stacey McEachern, it was both an important and powerful opportunity for the teachers to explore aboriginal culture.
"Our collective passion for teaching the course comes from our desire to do the course justice. We strongly believe that students in British Columbia need to know the historical and contemporary stories of our province's first peoples," she says. "We were warmly welcomed into the Musqueam community as we learned, shared, laughed and taught each other over a lunch of homemade soup and baked bannock. It was a wonderfully inspiring day; one which we hope to do again."
For Ferraby, the PRO-D offered a great opportunity to come together to share and discuss new ideas and course content. Plus, the participants got to benefit from the enriching first-hand experience of Musqueam presenters.
She says it was a good time for teachers to refresh on the content because of the big demand.
"I think the students in our schools are hungry to learn more about First Nations history and culture. There are limited opportunities to do so in school and this is a great avenue to learn more," says Ferraby. "Moreover, I've found it often sparks an interest in students to further pursue First Nations Studies in University. I think the teachers teaching the course learn as much or more than the students. It's a challenging course to tackle, but very rewarding."
Ferraby says she'd particularly like to acknowledge and thank the Musqueam community for so generously hosting the PRO-D at their cultural pavilion.