During a professional development day Monday, the Nanaimo school district hosted CUPE staff and guests for a blanket exercise, an role-play activity to inform about colonization and a time in history for aboriginal people. The district anticipated more than 200 people to attend and Laura Tait, district director of instruction, referred to it as one of Canada’s largest ever blanket exercises during her opening remarks. It’s considered to be a way to support the district goal of reconciliation. FILE PHOTO

Reconciliation advisory committee recommended in school district

Nanaimo school board considers striking a new committee to further goal of reconciliation

Nanaimo school district could strike a new advisory committee to help build a vision for reconciliation.

Nanaimo school trustees recommended at a recent education committee meeting that the school board create a new advisory committee to help move work ahead on reconciliation.

The board has been working on reconciliation, a goal in its strategic plan, with initiatives such as a book club for the education committee, a blanket exercise and workshops. But trustee Stephanie Higginson, who has been helping to lead the education committee’s work on reconciliation, said there needs to be a re-focus on the institutional side; to find a vision statement of what reconciliation looks like for the district.

RELATED: Nanaimo school district taking initial steps to reconciliation

RELATED: Nanaimo school district trustees explore next steps on reconciliation

Each goal in the strategic plan has an accompanying document with words and a vision on how to achieve it, or what the board wants to do, according to Higginson, who says this advisory committee would be a small breakout of the education committee and look at how to get the vision statement together.

The district will also include student input in a vision for reconciliation.

“Everything we do needs to keep the students at the centre and the heart of these decisions so we need to hear from them, what this means to them and make sure that their words and thoughts and hearts are reflected in any kind of visioning statement that we produce for this,” Higginson said.

The school board will make the final decision on an advisory committee and its make-up.



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