Staff from the Bulkley Valley School District gave a presentation yesterday on how they’re integrating Aboriginal content into their curriculum.
The district’s Aboriginal Education principal, Birdy Markert, says it’s important for students on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory to learn its culture and history.
Markert says Aboriginal content shouldn’t be segregated in the curriculum but integrated into the mainstream.
She says with integration, students are able to see how Aboriginal concepts relate to the wider world, especially in subjects not traditionally associated with Aboriginal content, such as math.
The darker history of Canada’s relationship with Aboriginal peoples is also taught, but in a way that leads towards reconciliation.
Having Aboriginal content in the classroom not only impacts students, but also their teachers.
Jana Fox is one of the district’s Aboriginal education teachers.
Fox says she integrates her own family experiences into her lessons, which can be emotional.
About 25% of the students in the district are Aboriginal, and Markert says having this content not only validates their identity but also allows their classmates to learn more about them.