15 new Indigenous teacher training seats added at Cowichan VIU campus

Thorne said the new Indigenous teacher education curriculum that is planned at VIU

Brianna Thorne thinks Canadian history has reached a turning point in regards to relations with aboriginal communities, and one for the better.

Thorne, who is of mixed Indigenous ancestry, is a second-year education student at the Cowichan campus of Vancouver Island University.

At a ceremony at the campus on Dec. 6, Education Minister Rob Fleming announced that the province will fund 15 new Indigenous teacher-training seats there that will see more traditional knowledge and culture of aboriginal people brought into B.C.’s classrooms.

Thorne said the new Indigenous teacher education curriculum that is planned at VIU, in collaboration with Cowichan Tribes and other local bands, that will result from the addition of the new seats is another step in the ongoing efforts to have more aboriginal culture and knowledge taught in schools.

RELATED STORY: NEW PROGRAM WILL CERTIFY 24 INDIGENOUS CAREGIVERS

“I believe that incorporating Indigenous perspectives in teacher training is essential because it encourages future educators to think outside the traditional box of teaching,” she said.

“Indigenous knowledge offers students the opportunity to explore the world around them in terms of their relationship to everything on our planet. It teaches about respect, forgiveness, humility and reciprocity. Indigenous knowledge has so much to offer for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.”

The Ministry of Education funded $65,000 for the 15 new additional Indigenous teacher education seats at VIU.

The program will be available for students by fall 2019.

The total government funding in 2018 for developing Indigenous teacher programs and expanding seats was $400,000.

RELATED STORY: VIU GETS $150K INFUSION FROM ISLAND SAVINGS

Fleming said the province is committed to the call for action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which included changes to the K-12 curriculum to reflect indigenous perspectives in all subjects taught in the schools, from math and science to literature.

“A true and lasting reconciliation is at the heart of everything we do, and there’s no question Indigenous students thrive when their culture is reflected in classrooms and they have a connection to what they are learning,” he said.

“Teachers can be incredible role models for change. They have the power to show kids we all benefit from understanding the diversity of Indigenous perspectives and world views.”

In the 2017-18 school year, there were 65,269 Indigenous students enrolled in the province’s public schools, comprising 11.6 per cent of the public school student population.

David Paterson, dean of education at VIU’s Cowichan campus, added that with the funding for the seats, VIU will be able to expand its teacher education program in a way that furthers the critical process of reconciliation, allowing the university to equip future teachers with the knowledge of how to bring culturally relevant practices into their classrooms and support Indigenous learners.

“This type of education is important for all teachers, as is the approach we are taking to develop this curriculum; through a community of practice founded on strong partnerships and collaboration with Indigenous communities,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local community groups team up to fundraise for Cowichan Hospice Gardens

Artists for Hospice is Saturday February 29th from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at 444 Parkhill Terrace

Wonderettes bring the fun while belting out the hits

Four-part harmonies in Chemainus Theatre production sure to be music to your ears

‘My intuition saved my life’: Lynda Diamond finds life after death

Lynda Diamond died of a cardiac arrest, and was revived by Dr. Graham Brockley at the LCHC

Tourism and film team up to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog première

Tourism Vancouver Island and Vancouver Island North Film Comission look to leverage film tourism

Chemainus woman sets a new standard for 106-year-olds

Active lifestyle includes a trip to Scotland in the works for May

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Nanaimo-bound ferry breaks down, but another available for service

Two sailings cancelled Sunday on Tsawwassen-Duke Point route

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Most Read