FNMI (First Nation Metis Inuit) Achievement is the mainstay of my position. Currently, we have worked out the bugs behind collecting data, which was centred in our school logic reporting software. Because of some good work done by the folks down at School Logic, we we are now able to do some amazing things like compare just how well we’re doing in educating our FNMI youth. We are working out the details about how we will share data and focus on FNMI achievement and address the needs that students teachers and schools have regarding improving or addressing FNMI achievement concerns. Our school division is not unique in our FNMI achievement data. What we find is that there is an achievement gap when comparing FNMI data with non FNMI. This problem is not unique, in that much of the world has numbers which are disparate and go along lines of race. We can use that to our advantage, in that, there is scholarship which is already established in terms of “promising practice” and closing the improvement gap, or as one of my profs has iterated, “opening the achievement opportunities for indigenous youth.” We are always on the lookout for promising practice and things that work in other places. Part of my work is to look around the world to see what we can use here. Sometimes I’ll share an email or an idea which will flourish within the division. Some initiatives had begun a few years before I received my post here in November 2013. I look forward to the new iniatives which will undoubtely be unfolding here within the near future.
One bit that everyone can engage in, regardless of who we are, is ensuring that there is an anti-racist / anti-oppressive analysis in our schools and our classrooms. It is important that the families who are not in the non-dominant group in the classroom are understood historically in terms of the oppression that has shaped their current reality. Currently, about 40 of our teachers have undergone a half day of anti-racist/anti-oppressive training from myself and Sheelah Mclean, Ph.D candidate and teacher of the global citizenship classes out of Saskatoon Public School Division. I was pleasantly surprised when I landed here to find that one of our supervisors has taken an Education Master’s class in anti-racism/anti-oppression. It can only make our toolkit of how to include everyone even more effective.
We will continue to delve deeply into these issues as the year progresses as we continue to work to make Living Sky School Division inclusive to all students and families, in any which way we can.
The First Nations Metis Achievement Meeting dates are:
November 06, 2016 -Workshop Room
January 13th, 2016 -Workshop Room
March 15th 2016 -Workshop Room
May 18th, 2016 -Workshop Room
The Regina Promising Practice Symposium is on October 16th, in Regina. I’ll be going if anybody wants to vehicle share? As well, the body mind and soul expo will be happening as well.