Orange Shirt Day!

Delburne School student's artwork chosen for official 2017 Orange Shirt Day Design!

Amy Peters' design was selected from over 380 submissions to be the logo for this year's Orange Shirt Campaign.

Amy, who is in Grade 11 at Delburne Centralized School, was keen to participate in the design competition because of her great respect and interest in Indigenous culture.  The competition was organized through The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities, which is instrumental in the annual Orange Shirt event that honours residential school survivors and promotes ongoing reconciliation.
"The spirit within the youth that put on paper what their hearts and minds were feeling to help all children to feel safe, is amazing!  Thank you for your gifts," said Elder Wilson Bearhead, one of the design judges.

The Orange Shirt Day Campaign has been growing quickly, since it was launched in 2013.  It grew from 'Phyllis' Story' of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day at residential school when she was a very young girl.  The end of September date was chosen because it's the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools.  It's an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year.

"We learned all about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Social class, and I just felt compelled to show my deep respect," said Amy, who has attended Delburne Centralized School since Grade 1.  "The work underway to rebuild First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities is so important, and if my art can provide any kind of support to those efforts I'm thrilled.  The symbolism in Indigenous artwork is so meaningful, and the colours and symbols and placement of every item is so intricate, that being able to learn more about it has added so much depth to my art.  I'm just very grateful to be part of this event and very proud that my design was chosen from among so many others."

Art isn't Amy's only passion.  Along with being an engaged high school student, she is an avid competitive archer who is trying to qualify for the Canada Winter Games when they come to Red Deer in 2019.  She's not far from her goal, having won the Silver Medal at the 2014 Alberta Winter Games in Banff and Bronze at Medicine Hat in 2016.

"There is no reason a small-town student can't reach their goals, with some hard work and perseverance," said Amy.  "My school is so good to us.  They support us in many different things, some which are completely outside of school.  They really want us to pursue our interests and reach our goals - it's meant a lot to me."

Delburne Centralized School, along with many other schools and departments in Chinook's Edge, will be ablaze in orange later this month, all showcasing Amy's design.  "Amy's story is a testament to the power of schools to educate, inspire and cultivate change," said Principal Ted Hutchings.  "Amy is a remarkably talented young lady who makes our school and community a better place."

Indigenous Art Installation at Division Office!

Thank you Elder Adrian Wolfleg, for taking time from your responsibilities at the Glenbow Museum to share your teachings and blessing us as we installed our 
new Indigenous artwork at Division Office!  

Check here for more information.

Proud to be me in CESD!

Check out the photo gallery from our first-ever 
Indigenous Youth Conference

Message from the Superintendent

Everyone matters in our safe and caring schools!

In Chinook's Edge, we know that meaningful relationships and trust are fundamental for moving our students toward success.  We are committed to ensuring each of our students and staff feel they are safe, cared for and that they belong.  To support this important priority, Chinook's Edge has developed an FNMI Steering Committee, which is exploring best practices in supporting First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in our schools.  The objective is to not only enhance the cultural and academic experiences of FNMI students, but also to bring an FNMI perspective to curriculum for all students.

Honouring and celebrating FNMI students and teachings enriches the experience in our schools for every student and staff who enters.  Details about the work of the FNMI Steering Committee will be shared in the coming weeks through an expanded section on our division website, and we invite you to visit our website to see the important work underway.  By purposefully sharing its findings, the FNMI Steering Committee is guiding students throughout our division to a deeper understanding of culture and perspectives.  Our Learning Services team and the entire Central Office staff is involved, to ensure the FNMI Steering Committee successfully achieves its objectives.  We are confident this important work will lead to higher success and understanding for all our students, and that each student in our care will know they are supported on their way to achieving success as compassionate and innovative global citizens.

When students are being registered to attend a school in Chinook's Edge, there is an opportunity to identify if they are of First Nations, Metis or Inuit descent.  For information on why we ask this question, please click here.

Kurt Sacher 
Superintendent of Schools

FNMI Steering Committee

The FNMI Steering Committee's work is to explore best practices in supporting First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in our schools.  The objective is to not only enhance the cultural and academic experiences of FNMI students, but also to bring an FNMI perspective to curriculum for all students.  Honouring and celebrating FNMI students and teachings enrich the experience in our schools for every student and staff who enters.  We are happy to share the work of this important committee through this website, and invite you to continue visiting this site to see the efforts underway throughout our division!

Welcome From the FNMI Coordinator

As with all school divisions in the province, Chinook's Edge is mandated by Alberta Education to include First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) teachings in its curriculum, and to ensure FNMI students are supported in a manner that reflects their unique culture.  FNMI teachings are already very strongly present in our curriculum.  We want to make this as rich as possible for our students, and are working to share and incorporate as many ideas from our classrooms as possible.  

To achieve our goals, we formed an FNMI Steering Committee to support greater understanding and more connections in our classrooms.  We worked to ensure each area of our large rural school division has representation on the Steering Committee, and are building on the respectful dialogue and collaboration that exists among teachers and schools in Chinook's Edge.

I am keen to continue developing this strong FNMI focus, because it is my passion.  Before arriving to Chinook's Edge, I taught in a First Nations community in Northern Alberta.  I worked hard to understand the culture and sought advice from Elders in the community.  I was encouraged to allow the community to welcome me, to accept tea in their homes where I was able to share the positive things that were happening for their children at school.  I asked what the kids were interested in and got to know them and their families better.  Soon parents became more comfortable coming into the school for various activities.  It made a difference to many lives, because we formed a relationship and everyone grew.  Strong relationships are the foundation to success for all of our students, and we are committed to establishing this strong foundation with all our students.

Chinook's Edge is on Treaty 6 and 7 land, but we have no reserve land or feeder reserves in our division which is unique among rural school divisions in Alberta.  This makes it incumbent upon us to purposefully include FNMI lessons, symbols, teachings, and philosophies wherever we can.  The total number of FNMI students in Chinook's Edge is increasing, which may be due to our registration process which encourages students to self-identify if they are from a First Nations, Metis or Inuit descent.  Within the last year, the total number of self-identified FNMI students has increased to 716 in our division.

Jane Atkins
FNMI Coordinator

The Seven Sacred Teachings

The traditional concepts of respect and sharing form the foundation of the Indigenous People's way of life and are built around the