SESS breaks new ground with aboriginal studies

Similkameen Elementary Secondary School first in the district to offer First
Nations course

 

Similkameen Elementary Secondary School is breaking new ground this year with the introduction of a course that will introduce students to history from a First Nations perspective.

SESS  is the first school in District 53 to offer a history course that is based on First Nations’ point of view.

The program is offered to students in lieu of Social Studies 11, and will be largely project based, with class activity involving field trips and speakers coming into the school from the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. The course follows a provincial cirriculum and has a final exam. Twenty-five students are enrolled in the course this year.

The new course complements the Okanagan Language course that is now in its second year at SESS.

“Twenty-five per cent of the students in this school have aboriginal ancestry,” explained SESS Principal Marcus Toneato. “To not  have something related to their culture in the school cirriculum would not be representing that group, so these programs are important.

Aboriginal programs have come a long way at SESS – three years ago there wasn’t a single program offered.”

The Okanagan Language program is showing increased popularity amongst the student body this year as enrolment numbers are up from eight last year to 20 this year. The program is offered to high school students from grades eight to 12, and teaches the basics of the Okanagan language. Amber Eustache, a First Nations instructor who is fluent in the Paul Creek language, teaches the course.

First Nations Studies 12 focusses on the diversity, depth and integrity of the cultures of B.C. aboriginal people. Designed to introduce authentic aboriginal content into the curriculum with the support of aboriginal people, the course provides an opportunity for B.C. students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the traditions, history and present realities of First Nations peoples, as well as a chance to consider future challenges and opportunities. Having aboriginal content in the school curriculum can also contribute to an enlightened discussion of aboriginal issues as well as giving aboriginal students a sense of place and belonging in the public school system.

 

Just Posted

Keremeos man says stem cell therapy changed his life

Darryl Brewer says he went from being immobile with chronic pain to leading an active lifestyle

Monster Truck action returns to the Okanagan for a second night

From 6 until 7 p.m. you can meet the drivers and get a close up look at the trucks

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Summer sun for Sunday

The forecast for the week ahead shows some rain but plenty of sun and warm tempertures.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

UPDATE: Penticton resident’s dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Water quality makes swimming unsafe at three beaches near Salmon Arm

The Adams Lake Indian Band has issued a water qulity notice affecting beaches at three campgrounds.

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Second osprey chick dies, Okanagan web cam off

The second chick in an osprey nest featured on the Town of Osoyoos website has died

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

Fire department helps with body recovery in Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Police on scene at Penticton beach

RCMP were at a what is believed to be a crime scene near Skaha Beach Sunday

Most Read