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News: Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Walking Forward Together: Aboriginal Conference

On October 20, 500 educators came together to learn about ways to work together to support the success of Aboriginal students. We were welcomed by Jennette Pierre and Chris Silver from Sumas First Nation.  An important part of this event was the opening where the district honoured Elders for their sacrifices and contributions as the first teachers of our children. Connecting Elders and students and the explicit connection to Aboriginal families is key to success for our Aboriginal students.  The Keynote speakers Dr. Lee Brown and Roy Henry Vickers shared insights on supporting the emotional development of children and recognizing the gifts of every child.  Elders Cyril Pierre and Joseph Ginger shared their important story and experiences at St. Mary's Residential School.  Dallas Yellowfly engaged participants in the provocative conversations about the impact of the Indian Act on Aboriginal people and distict staff offered sessions including BC Blanket, the teachings of the drum, the importance of cedar.  A bus tour with Sto:lo Historian and knowledge keeper Sonny McHalsie took participants around Sumas and Matsqui First Nation to learn about place names and important sites connected to local Aboriginal history.  A lovely lunch from Sto:lo Catering is always a treat!  A day of sharing, learning and growth as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people work, learn and walk foward together to create a better future for students.