In January 2011 Jo-ann Archibald held community consultation forums to determine the community support for a school with an “Aboriginal lens.” Parents, students, teachers and stakeholders were asked a variety of questions.
A student forum at MacDonald elementary on Jan. 21, had 55 participants. The forum asked for ideas on what a school with an Aboriginal focus would look like.
Below are some selected responses taken directly from the Aboriginal Education Forum (PDF).
- One student expressed concern for an all-Aboriginal school because she felt that it is not good to isolate; it is better to be multi-cultural; she can get along with all people regardless of race.
- Another student expressed that, for some Aboriginal students, it is easier to succeed with other Aboriginal students.
- An Aboriginal school will help with graduation rates.
- It must be a positive environment.
- A language course is important
- Aboriginal people come from different cultures, but do share common experiences.
- One student shared “If I didn’t have outreach [school], I would have dropped out.”
- All Aboriginal focus would provide opportunity to share different traditions.
- Need supportive teachers and coaches.
- Need Aboriginal teachers and elders in school.
- No bullying is important: Students want to feel safe.
The forum found that overall students like the idea of an Aboriginal focused school.