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Blog: Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Recognizing Milestones

Local Education Agreement between Matsqui First Nation and Abbotsford School District

On April 29, 2019, the Abbotsford School District was invited into the community of Matsqui First Nation to sign a Local Education Agreement (LEA) for the education and support of the children in the community.  Councilor Brenda Morgan hosted the evening with a welcome and prayer from Chief Alice Mckay.  Elders, family and staff from Matsqui Elementary, Clayburn Middle, Bateman Secondary and Bradner Elementary, along with Board Chair Dr. Stan Petersen and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Angus MacKay, and the team from the Aboriginal Department, gathered for this special event.  The LEA is a promise from the Abbotsford School District to deliver quality instruction, transportation, language and culture to the children of Matsqui First Nation, and a commitment to self-governance of the Nation in decision-making, and meaningful input into the education of their children. We were honoured to spend time at Matsqui First Nation, and thank them for making us all feel welcome on this special evening.

Role Model Honouring Ceremony and Halq’emeylem Language Gathering at Sumas First Nation

Sumas First Nation generously invited our district to hold a celebration of student success and Halq’emeylem in their longhouse on May 3, 2019.  600 students and staff, leaders from the First Nation and the Fraser Valley Métis Association, joined together to celebrate six worthy Aboriginal grade 12 scholarship recipients.  We were honoured to observe a traditional ceremony with witnesses, mothers and special women from the community laying blankets to prepare the floor and receivers who participated in this special ceremony. These students were held up for their commitment to learning, school success, extra curricular involvement, leadership and community service.  Marcie Pruden from Bakerview Centre for Learning, has been an incredible advocate for youth and has already coordinated conferences and plans to become a counsellor. Odyn Mulder from the Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts, has a passion for all kinds of music, is an amazing trombone player and will be attending UVIC to study music.  Aiden Silver has plans to continue to study Hal’qeméylem at UFV and plans to join the district as a support worker. Tyra Jones is a strong young woman who has displayed kindness and leadership in her school and plans to pursue a career in law, and be an advocate for women’s rights. Jalen Edwards from Abbotsford Senior, displays kindness and respect on the basketball court and in his school, and will be pursuing a degree in political science. Faith Madden from Abbotsford Senior, loves fine arts and theatre and plans to continue to learn about and live her Métis culture.  A day of gratitude and inspiration as we celebrate these accomplishments.

DARLENE MACDONALD
District Principal, Aboriginal Education