The Squamish Nation and School District No. 48 (Sea to Sky) have renewed a five year protocol agreement.

The two are working together to create a bright future for Squamish Nation students by fueling pride in Squamish culture, and according to a joint press release the results, so far, have ‘exceeded all expectations’.

Squamish Nation Councillor and Spokesperson Chris Lewis says the “Squamish Nation and School District No. 48 are blazing a path for Aboriginal education” and that the “rest of the world should know about this success. It really is a beacon of hope”.

Aboriginal students in the region had an 81.7% six-year secondary school completion rate in 2016, up dramatically from 39% in 2010. The provincial rate for all students was 83.6% and for 63% Aboriginal students.

According to the release Aboriginal support workers meet with students to ensure they take the right courses to keep doors open for post-secondary education and to encourage use of their gifts and talents. Data teams then track each student and make plans to support each vulnerable child.

Lisa McCullough, Superintendent of Schools for School District 48 says the corridor is rich in community partnerships like the relationships they have with the Squamish Nation, which helps them align efforts on behalf of Aboriginal children; “We gain from the wisdom of local cultural advisors and Nation elders. Our School District’s high yield strategies for Aboriginal students include, but are not limited to, a pervasive and inclusive education plan, a collaborative approach to teacher planning and classroom support, a focus on local culture and language in all classrooms, Aboriginal Ways of Knowing embedded in daily classroom practices…”

Several programs have been implemented by School District 48 and the Squamish Nation including the Iya7yulh-Chet Cultural Journeys program, which immerses students in Skwxwú7mesh language and culture while also teaching other academic subjects. The Pala7lhkalh Stélmexw Aboriginal Youth Council also allows students to demonstrate leadership, where around 80 students have joined the council, which includes organizing the annual 24-Hour Drum – bringing awareness to significant issues of First Nations people.

School District 48 also has an Aboriginal Education Council comprised of a Board of Education Trustee, Chief and Council representatives, and an Aboriginal Education Committee that include school administrators, teachers, Squamish elders, Squamish Nation staff, other Nations’ staff representatives and elders, and other leaders working to improve the quality of education for Aboriginal students in the district.


Filed under: Aboriginal, Education, First Nations, Pemberton, School District 48, Sea to Sky, Sea to Sky School District, Squamish, Squamish Nation, Whistler