SD63 Indigenous Education Gazette

June 2020

We acknowledge and thank the W̱SÁNEĆ people on whose traditional territory we live, learn, and teach. The W̱SÁNEĆ people have lived and worked on this land since time immemorial.

June has arrived and we are nearing the close of a very different school year. While this school year has been extraordinary we have once again come together as a district and community to support one another and move forward collectively towards our new normal.

Throughout the Gazette you will see highlights from each of our schools with a focus on students in grade 5, 8 and 12 as they transition from elementary and middle or to post secondary or the world of work.

Congratulations to our students for finishing another successful school year. Wishing all of our grade 5 students moving to Middle School and our grade 8 students moving to Secondary a smooth and successful transition!

To our graduates -- congratulations on your achievements. While we are not able to celebrate your accomplishments in person this year at the Indigenous Recognition Ceremony we hope that you will be able to watch and share the virtual Indigenous Recognition Ceremony with your family and celebrate the culmination of your K-12 journey. We wish you all the best in future and we hope you keep and touch and let us know what you are up to after graduation!

We would like to thank families and community members for their tremendous support and contributions to our school district and programs through your work as guest speakers in our classrooms. Your gift of knowledge and sharing is so important and we are very grateful for your time.

On behalf of the Indigenous Education team I wish you a relaxing summer and thank you for your ongoing support of Indigenous Education in Saanich Schools.

Sheilia Austin - District Principal (interim) - School District 63 (Saanich) Indigenous Education

We welcome schools, the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board and parents/guardians to submit articles or student acknowledgements to our office.

We can be reached at 250-652-7321 or sbenson@saanichschools.ca.

January 2020

We acknowledge and thank the W̱SÁNEĆ people on whose traditional territory we live, learn, and teach. The W̱SÁNEĆ people have lived and worked on this land since time immemorial.

Happy New Year from Indigenous Education! The new school year has brought many new opportunities throughout the district and within Indigenous Education that we are excited to share with you. You will find highlights from all of our schools with a focus on celebrations of learning from the fall.

We started the school year off with an amazing day of professional learning with an Indigenous Education focused Professional Development Day. Our friend and colleague Brad Baker, District Principal from North Vancouver and the Squamish Nation was our morning keynote and set the tone for the day by inspiring educators in Saanich to “go forward with courage.” Teachers and support staff participated in a variety of Indigenous Education workshops with educators from within our district and around the province. Monique Gray Smith wrapped up our day of learning as the afternoon keynote by weaving love and joy into the journey of truth and reconciliation. We were so fortunate to have such an incredible day of learning that focused on Indigenous Education to kick off the school year.

I hope that you enjoy this edition of the Indigenous Education Gazette that has been compiled by Sara Benson. Thank you to Sara for all of the time and care put into the gazette. On behalf of the Indigenous Education team I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and we look forward to our continued work together.

Melissa Austin - District Principal - School District 63 (Saanich) Indigenous Education

We welcome schools, the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board and parents/guardians to submit articles or student acknowledgements to our office.

We can be reached at 250-652-7321 or sbenson@saanichschools.ca.

June 2019

We acknowledge and thank the W̱SÁNEĆ people on whose traditional territory we live, learn, and teach. The W̱SÁNEĆ people have lived and worked on this land since time immemorial.

June has arrived and our schools are busy with year end activities and celebrations of learning.

Throughout the Gazette you will see highlights from each of our schools with a focus on students in grade 5, 8 and 12 as they transition from schools or into the world beyond graduation.

Congratulations to our students for finishing another successful school year. Wishing all of our grade 5 students moving to Middle School and our grade 8 students moving to Secondary a smooth and successful transition!

To our graduates -- congratulations on your achievements. We wish you all the best in the next phase of your journey. We hope you keep and touch and let us know what you are up to after graduation!

We would like to thank families and community members for their tremendous support and contributions to our school district and programs through your work as resource people and guests in our classrooms. Your gift of knowledge and sharing is so important and we are so grateful.

On behalf of the Indigenous Education team I wish you a relaxing summer and thank you for your ongoing support of Indigenous Education in Saanich Schools.

Melissa Austin - Principal - School District 63 (Saanich) Indigenous Education

February 2019

Happy New Year! We have had a busy start to the school year and have lots of exciting highlights to share with everyone.

This Winter edition of the Gazette will highlight events, stories and work from students in Kindergarten to grade 4, grades 6-7, and grades 9-11. We will highlight our senior students at each level in June as they transition to new schools and pathways after graduation.

The School District is currently engaged in the Equity in Action Project with the Ministry of Education. We are participating in the Equity Scan with 15 other school districts from around the province. “The Equity Scan defines a collective and collaborative decision-making process for school districts to enter into a genuine and meaningful self-assessment dialogue about the experience of education for Aboriginal learners and to respond in strategic ways to create conditions for success.” Equity in Action Film Saanich is actively engaged in this process and is working towards building an Equity Action Plan.

In November WE Schools hosted our third Sacred Circle Youth Leadership training in Saanich for our Indigenous leadership students from Claremont, ILC, Parkland and Stelly’s. Many of the participants also attended WE Day in Vancouver at the end of November and had a great time. We are grateful to WE for this valuable leadership and learning opportunity.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the Indigenous Education Gazette and thank you to Sara Benson for putting it all together! On behalf of the Indigenous Education team I wish you a happy and healthy New Year and thank you for your ongoing support of Indigenous Education in Saanich Schools.

Melissa Austin - Principal - School District 63 (Saanich) Indigenous Education

June 2018

ÍY, SȻÁĆEL HÁLE. Good day everyone! June arrived quickly again this year and students and schools are all busy with year-end activities. Since our last newsletter in January many exciting things have been happening in Indigenous Education in the school district. We recently signed our third W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis and Inuit Enhancement Agreement, we celebrated our grade 12 graduates at the Indigenous Education Recognition ceremony and we celebrated Indigenous culture throughout the year and engaged in a variety of National Indigenous Peoples Day activities.

The signing of a third W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis and Inuit Enhancement Agreement is an exciting milestone for our school district that signifies the Saanich School District’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous Education and the success and support of Indigenous learners. I would like to thank all of the community partners, parents, school district staff, the Indigenous Education team, and the Enhancement Agreement Renewal committee for all of their contributions and participation in the renewal process. I am excited about our new vision and goals and I look forward to meeting with the implementation teams from each school early in the fall to continue this important work together.

Congratulations to our students for finishing another successful school year. Wishing all of our grade 5 students moving to Middle School and our grade 8 students moving to Secondary a smooth and successful transition! Congratulations to the class of 2018! We wish you all the best in the next phase of your journey.

On behalf of the Indigenous Education team I wish you a relaxing summer and thank you for your ongoing support of Indigenous Education in Saanich Schools.

Melissa Austin - Vice Principal - School District 63 (Saanich) Indigenous Education

January 2018

Happy New Year! We have had a busy fall and start to winter in our district with lots of activities, celebrations, and learning taking place in schools. We are always excited to publish this Gazette, as it is a wonderful opportunity to share highlights from across the district. We are sharing stories and work from students in Kindergarten to grade 4, grades 6-7, and grades 9-11 in this edition and will highlight our senior students at each level in June as they transition to new schools and pathways after graduation.

Saanich is very fortunate to be working with WE Schools this year to provide our Secondary students with an opportunity to participate in the Sacred Circle Youth Leadership through the WE organization. Indigenous Youth from Claremont, the Individual Learning Centre, Parkland, Stelly’s and the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Secondary School will be taking part in this Indigenous Leadership training and opportunity that will be hosted at Tsawout this year. Watch the June newsletter for highlights from the Sacred Circle.

On behalf of the Indigenous Education team I wish you a happy and healthy New Year and thank you for your ongoing support of Indigenous Education in Saanich Schools.

Melissa Austin - Vice Principal - School District 63 (Saanich) Indigenous Education