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

Survey to gauge interest in connecting Cowichan to Nanaimo by bus

People can fill out the survey until Oct. 16.

Cowichan Valley family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Big Stick light up red to signal COVID devastation

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

MacGregor hosting virtual town hall on green COVID economic recovery

“Making the right investment decisions now to ensure a visionary carbon-conscious recovery…”

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Islands Trust Conservancy gets funding for protection of at-risk species

Conservancy manages habitat for more than 25 plant and animal species at risk

Most Read