15 new Indigenous teacher training seats added at Cowichan VIU campus

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

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Pedestrians have rights to use highways

A highway is not the exclusive domain of drivers.

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has stepped up, in spite of COVID, for a number of charities. (Submitted)
Sahtlam firefighters step up

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has a long history of supporting charities

A mobile home fire prompted a quick response from firefighters Saturday around 3:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Mobile home up in flames at Duncan RV Park

One patient burned, EHS on scene

Phaecelia used as a cover crop attracts bees and provides them with high quality nectar. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Cover crops keep soil healthy and productive

We don’t harvest a cover crop and instead dig the tops under when they’re immature and soft

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Home is where you know your neighbours

My mom has lived at that address for 43 years.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read