Administrators at Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) received cultural education on Treaty 6.
A special indigenous culture camp was held May 11 at the Ponoka Outreach School, which brought administrators from all over WCPS as well as neighbouring divisions. The event was organized by Shelagh Hagemann, FNMI student success coordinator at WCPS along with the Zone 4 Central Alberta Regional Consortium (CARC).
The goal of CARC is to determine areas that teachers and administrators most need. “We decided that this was a good focus area for system leaders,” explained Hagemann.
Staff from the division office and board members were also in attendance of the camp.
“With the revision of the teacher quality standards, the leadership standards and the superintendency leadership standards, it’s important that we all have foundational knowledge about treaties, residential schools and historical impacts,” said Hagemann.
There were 120 participants who took part in the camp with First Nations elders and the WCPS wisdom and guidance committee being part of the planning.
“Elder Mary Moonias spoke to us this morning about her experience in residential schools,” said Hagemann, who added that Moonias explained how she made changes to her life after the fact.
With the Truth and Reconciliation Commission there has been some movement among support agencies along with the provincial government. Because of that, there’s a bigger discussion of education and collaboration with the FNMI community.
Hagemann suggests this has helped create opportunities of better understanding and the more teachers learn about the FNMI cultures, the more they can pass on to students.
“The curriculum is also changing,” said Hagemann, of changes coming from Alberta Education.
“To bring in a more accurate view of history.”
There were three Treaty 6 teepees, plus a teepee with representation from Treaty 7, along with a Metis traders tent.
Closing out the camp was special traditional dancing from Jared and Jaime Buffalo and their children, along with drumming and singing from the group Bear Street.