We are a leader in integrating Indigenous perspectives into the learning environment in all 42 of our schools through our Indigenous Academic Achievement (IAA) programming.
IAA aims to:
- Strengthen the sense of belonging and pride among Indigenous learners in their cultural heritage
- Deepen the understanding and appreciation of Canada's First Peoples among students from other cultural backgrounds
- Support teachers and students in curriculum and classroom program development
- Enhance Indigenous academic achievement
The program—funded through a special grant from Manitoba Education—allows us to provide authentic and successful Indigenous cultural programming to our students and staff by integrating Indigenous history and perspectives into the curriculum, and offering a variety of cultural and curricular learning activities in our schools.
Some of our learning activities include:
- Team teaching to enhance students' learning experiences
- Traditional teachings by our divisional Elders
- Smudge ceremonies and Sharing Circles
- Guest presenters and teachers sharing cultural wisdom on drumming, the tipi, the Medicine Wheel, the Seven Sacred Teachings, dance, and plant medicines
- After-school cultural clubs for students from Grades 4–8
- Indigenous role model/mentorships from our IAA staff for students
- Divisional community Powwows
- Culturally-focused field trips
- Cultural professional development for our school staff
- Curriculum development and program planning with our schools
- Classroom presentations on the history of the First Peoples of Canada
A main factor in our success is our "Medicine Wheel—All Four Nations" approach to sharing cultural knowledge, which means students and staff from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds participate in our IAA activities.