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Students’ response to Aboriginal focused school

In January 2011 Jo-ann Archibald held community consultation forums to determine the community support for a school with an “Aboriginal…

By Lindsay Sample , in Education , on November 17, 2011

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.

Related: Vancouver aspires to improve Aboriginal schooling

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.