FIRST NATIONS EDUCATION
First Nations Education can be described as a circle of life that focuses on an increased awareness of the importance of self-concept and self-esteem that, in turn, encourages self-determination. Students need to balance the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical dimensions to reinforce their learning experiences. Creative learning environments can provide the opportunity for this growth and development to occur. First Nations staff believe that all students, and the District’s staff, have the capacity to successfully grow, develop and change.
First Nations student education must include the involvement of people from the First Nations communities in the classroom and at the district level. Students must see First Nations people in the school system as leaders, role models, employees and active participants in district schools. First Nations involvement in the educational community will create a positive learning environment and will provide a foundation upon which the educational needs of First Nations students’ will be met.
First Nations student education needs to reflect an inclusive [integrated] approach that provides a foundation for lifelong learning. First Nations people face many challenges as they strive to incorporate the demands of contemporary society, while trying to maintain their traditional cultures. The G.V.S.D. Board of Trustees recognizes and continues to support, through education, the perseverance, strength and resilience of First Nations cultures in order to ensure pride and success. The integration of culture must be affirmed as an essential part of the overall educational experience for all students. Students face many challenges as they integrate the learning tools of contemporary society within their traditional cultures. It is essential to provide a balanced education in order to teach the skills that will enable these students to encompass the best of all cultures while reinforcing traditional values.
First Nations learners’ educational journey must provide equal opportunities that will enable them to maximize their potential. Parents, schools and the community must work together to encourage students to continue in school, and thus increase the graduation rate for First Nations students.
First Nations is inclusive of Metis, Inuit, status, non-status, off reserve and other indigenous people.
Greater Victoria School District
Approved: July 23, 1984
Revised: May 25, 1999