The Clearview board hosted a First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) awareness event at the board room on Monday, April 18 with some 20 attendees, which included trustees, principals and teachers.
“FNMI is part of our three-year education plan,” said deputy superintendent Brenda MacDonald. “FNMI is part of the Alberta Education Business Plan and we will continue an FNMI focus for the next three years.”
One of Clearview’s desired outcomes is that the achievement gap between FNMI students and all other students is eliminated, and the ministry supports this objective.
In 2010, Alberta’s FNMI parents, families and communities identified a need for school administrators to increase their understanding of the unique cultural, social and historical circumstances of their education and the workshop was an attempt to do that, said MacDonald.
The workshop entitled ‘FNMI – Leadership Awareness Professional Learning about Residential Schools’ was aimed at enhancing the understanding of the historical events impacting the FNMI people in Canada and how these events influence both engagement and achievement for some students in school today.
The facilitators at the event were Judy and Roy Louis ,who have been educators for a long time, with Judy being a motivated, high-energy educational consultant with a demonstrated track record for fostering learning and promoting multicultural diversity, and is also a recipient of an Excellence of Teaching Award and the Alberta Centennial Medal for innovative approaches to education and the promotion of cultural diversity.
Roy, a member of the Samson Cree Nation, is from a family of leadership and former president of the Indian Association of Alberta, besides being the co-founding member of Peace Hills Trust Company and Peace Hills General Insurance that are now into their 30th year.
Judy and Roy Louis informed and enlightened attendees about the struggles FNMI students face and how the community can help to diminish this gap.
Through the workshop participants were introduced to the influences of missionary religious institutions on FNMI people, an awareness of policies and acts passed by government and how these impacted FNMI people and their way of life, including the intergenerational repercussions of residential schools.