Category Archives: Uncategorized

Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom: Moving Forward

Cited from BC Ministry of Education Aboriginal Education website:

Inspired by Scott Benwell and Kaleb Child from School District 85 (Vancouver Island North), this project is a call to action for educators and leadership to create and enhance learning environments to serve each learner, family and community. Aboriginal voice is dominant in this resource guide and reflects the opinions of community members.

This resource guide aligns with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the newly revised curriculum emphasizing relevant, authentic inclusion of content regarding Aboriginal culture, language and history. The resource guide supports educators and provides context as they incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning into their learning environments.

The resource guide also aligns with the work currently happening around the province through Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements and networks of educators such as the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network.


Click on Image to open the document in pdf format.

Aboriginal Education in the New Curriculum

By next fall, elementary schools across the province will be implementing the new curriculum. During this transition period, teachers are given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the overall layout, content, and rationale of the redesign, which is centered on the idea of Core Competencies. In this new iteration, Aboriginal education is removed from its relative isolation in Grade 4 Social Studies and woven throughout the grades and subject areas.

Not sure where to start? Check out the relevant content for your grade level, and then explore the resources by clicking on Aboriginal Education in the New Curriculum Chart.

Aboriginal Year End Report 2014-2015


The intention of this report is to provide information regarding the District’s progress toward meeting the goals of our second Enhancement Agreement. On November 6, 2014 the Burnaby School District signed its second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement entitled Stronger Together. The agreement is intended to build upon the strong foundation established by the first agreement.  Please click on the cover to read the report in its entirety .

Parent Focus Groups – Student Recognition

Aboriginal Education is seeking parent input into the transitional year of the student recognition program and the subsequent future direction of student recognitions. Interested parents are welcomed to participate through online survey by clicking the link below, or by attending one of the four parent focus groups. Parents are welcome to attend any of the four sessions.

Cariboo Lougheed Zone: Wednesday, March 25, 1:00-2:00pm – Twelfth Avenue Elementary School

Kingsway South Zone: Thursday, March 26, 4:00-5:00pm – Maywood Community School

Central West Zone: Monday, March 30, 9:00-10:00am – Cascade Heights Elementary School

Brentwood North Zone: Thursday, April 2, 6:00-7:00pm – Gilmore Community School

The online survey can be accessed through the following link:

Aboriginal Family Night March 3

Burnaby Central will play host to our spring SD41 Aboriginal Family Night on Tuesday, March 3 from 5:30-7:30. Activities will include cedar weaving and storytelling with a local elder. Please RSVP to to secure your spot for your family, as space is limited.

Burnaby Schools Signs Second Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement


On November 6, Burnaby Central Secondary hosted a celebration and signing of the school district’s second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. The Burnaby Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement Working Group has dedicated the past two years of consultation and collaborative dialogue to the creation of this Agreement, entitled, Stronger Together. This five-year agreement is a commitment by the school district, local Aboriginal communities, and the Ministry of Education to work together to support Aboriginal learners so that they can maximize their learning potential. The event featured a blanketing ceremony following traditional Coast Salish protocols, as well as performances from current and former students of Burnaby Schools.

The second Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement can be found be clicking here.

Click here for an article on the signing celebration.

Aboriginal Youth Leadership and Mentorship Programs

Aboriginal Education in Burnaby Schools is excited to be partnering with Outward Bound Canada to co-deliver our Aboriginal Youth Leadership and Mentorship Programs for 2014-2015. Outward Bound has a long history of successfully delivering outdoor, adventure based learning experiences to various groups. Our Secondary Aboriginal Resource Teachers will be working closley with Outward Bound to ground the activities in our leadership program in Aboriginal perspective. This program is sure to enhance our student participants leadership skills and abilities, while offering an Independant Directed Studies component so that students can obtain credit toward graduation for their work within the leadership program. Year one will play host to 16 student participants from all high schools in Burnaby. We look forward to a successful first year and future growth of the program in years to come.

Honouring Our Youth Aboriginal Achievement Ceremony 2014

This year the district is holding a district-wide Eagle Feather Ceremony – Honouring Our Youth– on June 12 at Michael J Fox Theatre.  The ceremony recognizes the achievements of Aboriginal youth throughout the district, and will highlight this year’s graduates. The move to a district ceremony in a more formal setting reflects the communities desire to be able to come together as one, to further encourage student achievement and celebrate student success.

Author Terri Mack Visits Burnaby


Indigenous author and publisher Terri Mack spent two days in Burnaby Schools sharing her new book, Mouse Celebrates the Winter Solstice. Terri spent time at Maywood Community School and Confederation Park Elementary School with grade 2-3 students and with grade 8 students at Burnaby South Secondary. Terri also provided a keynote address at this years Words Celebration at Michael J Fox Theatre.  We were privileged to have Terri  share her book with all students, helping to build awareness around Indigenous literature with all people, while acting as a role model for our Aboriginal students.

DRAFT EA Document and Survey

Our Enhancement Agreement Working Group has been sifting through the responses gathered through the online surveys and community gathering information and has established a draft enhancement agreement document.  The draft document contains the rationale for each goal, the goal statements, as well as the objectives and measurement indicators for each draft goal.  We are looking to feedback from all stakeholders in the District.  The document can be accessed through clicking the link below.  Once you have accessed the draft, a link to a feedback survey can be found at the top of the page.

DRAFT EA Document


April 24 Aboriginal Community Gathering

All parents and guardians of Aboriginal students in Burnaby Schools are invited to join us on Thursday, April 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 at Stoney Creek Community School for an evening of dinner, entertainment, activities for children and conversations with other parents from the Burnaby community.  Our new draft enhancement agreement will be shared with families on this night, with the goal of getting feedback and input on the document from all those interested.  Please RSVP to or by calling 604-296-6900 by Monday, April 21 at noon.

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Maywood Community School Aboriginal Family Gathering

Congratulations to Maywood Community School on the hosting of a successful Aboriginal Family Gathering yesterday evening. The school played host to parents, students, school staff and community members for a shared meal, conversations and activities. It was a tremendous night for all involved. Aboriginal Education in Burnaby Schools was pleased to share in the evening that supported the development of stronger connections between school and home.

Enhancement Agreement Parent Survey 3

The Enhancement Agreement Working Group has taken the feedback from all stakeholders that have engaged in the consultation process and created draft theme areas and goal statements for our next Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement.  We are looking for parent feedback regarding these draft statements.  Please help us create a strong agreement by lending your feedback through this short survey which can be accessed through the link below.


Proposed 3-Year Common Metro School Calendar

Provincial regulations require school districts to submit their upcoming proposed school calendar by March 31. As the District’s budget planning process is a 3 year cycle, to ensure stability, the District is proposing the following 3-year school calendar. It includes a two-week Spring Break model (5 days vacation/5 district closure days) that aligns the timing of Spring Break with most Metro-districts.

We are seeking input on this proposed 3-year Common Metro School Calendar from parents, staff, students and the community until Friday, February 28. A recommendation will be made to Burnaby’s Board of Education on March 11 and the proposed calendar submitted to the Ministry of Education by March 31. While it is unfortunate that this timing has not allowed us the opportunity to review this years pilot of a two-week Spring Break, we will conduct a review in April. Results of this review will be shared with the Board to guide them in their planning.

Before taking the survey, please click below to review the proposed 3-year Common Metro School Calendar


To take the survey, CLICK HERE

Burnaby North Youth Programs

We are pleased to announce that Spirit of the Children will be starting an Aboriginal Youth Program at Burnaby North Secondary on February 17.  The program will run out of the Aboriginal Services Room (room 3) in the South Building at Burnaby North Secondary.  Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to join in, with the program running from 3:30-5:30 every Monday afterschool. Click the link below for more information.

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Aboriginal Inspired Art from Byrne Creek

Students from Byrne Creek Secondary shared some amazing work with the District.  Ms. Moulin’s graphic arts students created buttons inspired from themes in traditional West Coast Indignous art forms.  The buttons were intended to be a representation of some personal aspect of the student. Another project completed in the school was inspired by Residential Schools survivors stories.  Ms. Mcleod’s art class created a mural inspired from these stories with each student creating an image of a survivor.  The work was on display at Byrne Creek and images are attached below.Nina NinaBrandon Luke 3 detail 5 1 2.

Aboriginal Community Gathering January 27

Aboriginal Education would like to invite all families from Burnaby Schools to our next community gathering on January 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 at Gilmore Community School.  The evening will feature student entertainment, crafts for kids, prizes and discussion about the Districts second Enhancement Agreement.  All interested families and/or parents must RSVP to or at 604-296-6900 by Friday, January 24 at noon. 

Jan 27 Community Gathering

Community Programs

Spirit of the Children is offering a wide array of programs targeted towards Aboriginal youth and their families.  Please click the link below for more information regarding January programming at Spirit of the Children.

SOTCS Calendar JANUARY 2014_1

Burnaby Schools Information Sessions

There are five information sessions on district programs – from K to 12 – coming up in January (and starting next week!).

They include: Multi-Age Cluster Classrooms, French Immersion, Mandarin Language Arts, Career Programs and the new AP Capstone Diploma Program.


Educators Books Club

Three copies of the remain for those interested.

SD41 Aboriginal Education is offering all educators within the Burnaby School District the opportunity to join our departments first book club of the year.  We will read, discuss and analyze Sherman Alexie’s book The Absolutely  True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  Reading Aboriginal literature can be a valuable tool used to help educators develop their understanding of Aboriginal peoples and their history. 

All interested participants are asked to register by contacting brandon.curr@sd41.bc.caAboriginal Book Club