On November 14 our aboriginal education department presented a cultural awareness workshop to district administrators and aboriginal support workers. Nan Allison (Upper Similkameen Indian Band), Carol Allison (Lower Similkameen Indian Band), and Robert Edward (LSIB) presented on the history of the Okanagan and Similkameen people. Leon Louis presented on cultural celebrations and traditional ways and Angie Todd-Dennis on the residential schools and their impact on our aboriginal people. This session was very well received and most of us were deeply touched by the stories. The aboriginal education department will now develop a similar workshop for teachers during the August 2014 professional development week. We feel that it is necessary for all of our staff to understand our aboriginal people’s culture.
Trustees, Superintendent Bev Young and Assistant Superintendent Jim Insley met with PAC chairs and one other representative from all schools in the district. At the meeting we received valuable feedback with regard to communication with the Board of Education. We also discussed establishing a DPAC to further enhance communication with the board and also to ensure parents’ input into policies, hiring of senior staff and the budget process. We find these meetings very valuable and our board is committed to continuing these conversations with our Parent Advisory Councils at least on a yearly basis as we regard them as important partners in the work that we do.