The Indigenous Success Team's purpose is to build bridges of understanding across the diverse cultures in Richmond by working directly with students with Indigenous Ancestry and by supporting classrooms and teachers with Indigenous content. Services vary based on individual needs and are designed with each child's interests and strengths in mind. Indigenous Education in Richmond is guided by the Equity in Action Plan developed by stakeholders of the Richmond School Districts whose focus is to work towards Indigenous Student Success.
Indigenous Student Success Services include but are not limited to:
- Community gatherings and feasts to highlight student achievements and bring the Richmond community together.
- Field studies and workshops to build connections and enrich cultural understandings.
- Leadership / volunteer opportunities within and outside the school organization
- Planning for grade-to-grade and elementary to secondary transitions
- Planning for post-secondary transitions including applications to institutions and scholarship information
- Additional student advocacy during times of change and/or challenge
- Curriculum integration through consultation and teacher education that enriches the educational experience for all students.
- Consultation and professional learning opportunities for Educators to integrate Indigenous content, knowledge, and perspectives.
Equity in Action Project
In 2016, the Ministry of Education created an Equity Scan Framework and vision to support school districts in identifying promising practices as well as barriers that are impacting Indigenous student achievement and success. This was done in response to the Office of the Auditor General’s report (2015) on Aboriginal Education, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), and the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action (2015). The Richmond School District started our Equity in Action Scan in the fall of 2020.
The Equity in Action Project is a commitment made by a school district, local Indigenous communities, and the Ministry of Education and Child Care, to work together to improve the success of all Indigenous students.
The Richmond School District recognizes the power of a shared responsibility for Indigenous learners, and endeavour to see all our Indigenous learners graduate with dignity, purpose, and options. We believe that education that honours the histories, worldviews, and perspectives of First Peoples is good for all students in our district and is key to a reconciled relationship with First Peoples in Canada.
The steps of the Equity Scan Process have been clearly defined by the Ministry of Education and result in the exploration of Four dimensions:
1) Student Learning Profile – looks for key indicators of achievement and learning trajectories for Indigenous students.
2) Policy and Governance – processes, plans, and policies that may have an impact on results for Indigenous learners.
3) Pedagogical Core – the experiences of learners in relation to curriculum, the presence of relevant cultural experiences and values placed on Indigenous Worldviews and Perspectives.
4) Learning Environment - includes human and educator bias, and learning spaces.
Through the Equity Scan several recommendations emerged and are the foundation of the work of improving Indigenous Student Success in the Richmond School District. The full Equity in Action Project Report with recommendations were shared at the January 18, 2023, Public Meeting of the Education Committee.
The Equity in Action Project is now the documented plan of action which replaces the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement which was in place from February 2017 to June of 2022. The overall spirit and articulated goals of the AEEA continue to be foundational and overarching in guiding the work that the Richmond School district does to enhance Indigenous Student Success in our District.
Our 4 goals are:
- Increased positive identity and sense of belonging for all Aboriginal learners.
- Increased knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal histories, cultures, and worldviews, beginning with our local First Peoples, for all learners.
- Increased educational opportunities that honour the First Peoples Principles of Learning for all learners.
- Increased holistic wellness and achievement for all Aboriginal learners.