Nanaimo district considering introducing reconciliation principal

Reconciliation leader, more elders in schools and cultural facilitators are ideas raised

A reconciliation leader, more elders in schools and cultural facilitators are on the wish list for Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools next year.

“We are starting to feel like we’re building some good momentum and some really true collective ownership right now with the initiatives that are already in place and we want to build upon the successes that we’re already starting to see,” said vice-principal of aboriginal education Anne Tenning of the direction her department wants to take next year.

Tenning and Laura Tait, assistant superintendent, proposed ideas on where they would like to spend surplus dollars next school year, including a part-time district leadership role they’ve tentatively called a reconciliation principal, who would help schools figure out what a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action mean at the school level.

Also proposed is a pilot to bring more elders into schools as a way to build on initiatives like the Elder Project at Ladysmith Secondary, and bring on Coast Salish and Métis facilitators.

“Schools have so many ideas right now and they’re always looking for cultural guidance and help with the protocol pieces so having dedicated positions … can support these ideas,” said Tenning about the new positions.

The aboriginal department will know more about the surplus it has to work with for the different initiatives this July.

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