Our Approach: Success for Every Student
We believe in creating inclusive learning environments where all students feel included, safe, valued and supported in their learning. Supporting and enhancing the achievement and success of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in alignment with the CBE's Three-Year Education Plan and Alberta Education’s Collaborative Framework is the goal of our administration, our schools, and our partnerships. The domains within the Collaborative Framework are modelled in our practices and policies and are designed to strengthen collaborative processes between schools, parents and the broader community.
Indigenous Education Team
Our team of educators supports the CBE community in improving the success of First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners while respecting the goals of schooling and increasing knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal cultures.
All Alberta students, including Aboriginal students, require support and learning opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes need for full participation in an enriched society and sustainable economy.
The Aboriginal Education Team within the CBE strives to support and enhance the educational experiences and achievement of all students. This is done by strategically and intentionally supporting professional learning for our staff, creating within each of them the knowledge and expertise to embed authentic links to traditional knowledge into their program and develop a holistic understanding of Indigenous worldviews, histories, and current realities.
By building the capacity of our staff and modelling cultural protocols, traditions and Indigenous ways of knowing, we can successfully support the weaving of culture and curriculum together to enhance the learning for all students.
Our work with students and their families…
- begins by supporting the professional learning of our staff and building their capacity to develop strategies, resources, programs and initiatives that honour our students’ stories and perspectives, while supporting their personal growth, high school completion, and career pathways to post-secondary studies or the world of work
- involves supporting all students to meet their personalized learning needs through holistic and culturally responsive educational strategies. This could involve connections to Elders, Learning Leaders, Diversity and Learning Support Advisors and other resource people for classroom visits and programs.
- involves connecting and referring students and their families to cultural and educational opportunities beyond the school, within the community
- includes building the capacity of parents, staff and students to help develop strong connections and communication with the school community
- provides students, families and staff access to indigenous pedagogical knowledge and holistic mediation when needed that is authentic and culturally appropriate. This could include connections to Elders.
Acknowledgement of the Land
Elders have taught us it’s important to acknowledge the land where we gather and the first peoples who traditionally lived here. It shows respect for people, their contributions and their ways of knowing, which are reflected through the stories and songs that have lived on this land for thousands of years. We make an acknowledgment to further demonstrate our commitment to work together as a community in laying the foundation for reconciliation through education.
The Board of Trustees starts every public Board meeting with a verbal acknowledgement of the land and its first people. CBE schools and service units acknowledge the land where we gather at the beginning and end of each school year, and during significant celebrations, such as a graduation.
CBE Annual Pow Wow
Traditional Pow Wows mark a time in Aboriginal culture of celebration, healing and spiritual growth within and amongst communities. The CBE Traditional Pow Wow celebrates the success of all students in the spirit of reconciliation.
The annual event supports the CBE’s mission of promoting successful high school completion, by providing a student-driven showcase of Aboriginal peoples’ culture. The Pow Wow is usually held in the spring and is open to everyone.
Indigenous Student Graduation
Each year CBE hosts a traditional celebration to honour our First Nations, Métis and Inuit students and their accomplishment of Grade 12 graduation. This is the practice of honouring and moving into the next phase of life. Medallions have been gifted to each attending graduate by Elders and each student has had an opportunity to thank those who supported them in their learning journeys. The celebration usually includes a feast and round dance.
The CBE supports self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit students who have self-identified their status through the Alberta Education Aboriginal Learner Data Collection Initiative. First Nations, Metis and Inuit students can self-declare their Aboriginal ancestry upon registration into the CBE on the student registration form. This identification will carry forward each year until such time as parents request it to be removed. Funding provided to the CBE for Indigenous student programming is based on the number of self-identified students registered in our schools each year. For information on Self-Declaration: https://archive.education.alberta.ca/teachers/fnmi/aldci/faq.aspx
How to Get Support
To discuss how your student's needs are being met or to find out what options are available for your First Nations, Métis or Inuit Learner, please contact your child’s school or Learning at 403-817-7664.