A new committee dedicated to improving the engagement and success of aboriginal students will soon be established in the Brandon School Division.
The initiative, called the aboriginal education advisory committee, was approved by the Brandon school board in a unanimous vote at Monday night’s meeting.
"The goal for the committee is to help to provide the division with resource people and guidance in terms of providing the best possible experience we can for the students we have in the schools that are of aboriginal heritage," board chair Mark Sefton said.
The aboriginal education advisory committee was part of the division’s budget deliberations held last February. The committee, along with a new aboriginal education learning consultant was approved in the budget in March for the 2012-13 school year.
"Anything we can do for any group of students to try to make their school experience more engaging, more positive and therefore leading to greater success ... everybody gains from that," Sefton said.
The aboriginal education advisory committee will provide the Brandon School Division "with a knowledge base from which to draw information regarding aboriginal traditions, culture, language and history," states the policy. "This is to assist in engaging students in their learning and to improve student success and achievement of aboriginal students."
The committee will provide direction in the success of aboriginal students through advice, research and community liaison in a variety of ways including curriculum development, program planning and classroom delivery.
The committee will consist of 12 to 15 members, and will include representatives from various aboriginal peoples, such as Métis, Dakota, Cree, Ojibway and Dené. It will also include representatives from various aboriginal organizations such as Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council, Manitoba Métis Federation and Brandon Friendship Centre. Representatives from various partner organizations may also be included, such as Brandon Police Service, City of Brandon, Western Regional Health Authority, Brandon University Native Studies Department and Child and Family Services.
Also to be included in the committee are high school student representatives of aboriginal background, one school board trustee, the aboriginal education learning specialist and the associate superintendent of schools.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 25, 2012