SD5, COTR, Ktunaxa First Nation, Métis groups renew Indigenous Education Enhancement Agreement

School District 5, College of the Rockies, Ktunaxa First Nation, and local Métis cultural groups recently gathered to renew and update the School District 5 Indigenous Education Enhancement Agreement. The agreement, which is updated every five years, provides a framework for Indigenous education in the Southeast Kootenays. The updates to the document include a change in terminology—from “aboriginal” to Indigenous—and two newly developed sections that outline the wishes of the Indigenous community, such as having a gathering space for Indigenous students at each school. “I do know that our Indigenous students are still very much feeling racism in the system and being confronted with it,” said Chief Joe Pierre of the ʔaq’am band, reflecting on how that experience of racism has changed over time. “A sense of belonging in school will lead to a sense of achievement and achieving in the school system will lead to a sense of belonging.”

Cranbrook Townsman