IndigiNews is covering education for Indigenous students, teachers, and families: Here’s the latest

As IndigiNews’s education reporter covering Vancouver Island, I’m following all of the latest developments. Every month, I’ll bring you a roundup of what you need to know about what’s relevant to Indigenous students, teachers, parents and families.

What you need to know: K-12

  • BC Parks is recruiting for its 2021 BC Parks Student Ranger Program to promote outdoor youth employment opportunities across the province. Applications close on Feb. 21.
  • The British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) released a statement expressing disappointment that there will be no prioritization for teachers to be vaccinated. “There is no denying that teachers are stressed, anxious, and even afraid,” says BCTF president Terri Morring. “We do not have the layers of protection in our schools that exist in other environments. If teachers are not prioritized for a vaccine, this government must take immediate action to improve safety measures in our schools.” Mooring is calling for mandatory mask mandates, better physical distancing measures, and ventilation upgrades for classrooms to ensure that schools have the same safety measures as other workplaces.
  • A suspected arsonist has been arrested by the RCMP in connection to fires at two Duncan-area schools last week: Drinkwater Elementary and École Mount Prevost. 

What you need to know: Post-Secondary

  • First Peoples Cultural Council’s Youth Empowered Speakers program is accepting applications until Feb. 8. The program is for B.C. First Nations youth who are pursuing or want to pursue a Bachelor of Education degree. The opportunity provides up to $36,400 per year to youth who are interested in becoming language immersion teachers.
  • A petition to extend the winter break for K-12 students across the province did not go ahead. However Vancouver Island University students received an extra week with classes recommencing on January 11th. 

COVID-19 exposures this month were reported at the following schools across the Island according to Island Health:

  • December 2-4: Nanaimo District Secondary, Nanaimo
  • December 3: Salt Spring Centre, Salt Spring Island
  • December 3-4: Wellington Secondary, Nanaimo
  • December 15: Wood Elementary, Port Alberni
  • January 4: Chemainus Secondary, Chemainus
  • January 4-5: Quamichan Middle School, Duncan
  • January 4-6: NIDES/Navigation SD71 Distance Education, Courtenay
  • January 4-8: Miracle Beach Elementary, Black Creek
  • January 5-6: St. Michael’s University School, Victoria
  • January 5-7: Cowichan Secondary, Duncan
  • January 6-8 & 12-15: Duncan Christian School, Duncan
  • January 13-15: Alexander Elementary, Duncan
  • January 15: Royal Bay Secondary, Victoria
  • January 18-20: Shawnigan Lake School, Shawnigan Lake
  • January 20-22: Woodwinds PASS Alternate School, Parksville 
  • January 20-22: Ecole Macaulay Elementary, Victoria
  • January 22 & 25: Ecole Ballenas Secondary, Parksville

Our latest Education Stories:

Comox Valley educator wants Indigenous youth to feel belonging and pride

‘Smile bags,’ sports and other sweet ideas keep kids active during COVID-19 closures
Restored W̱SÁNEĆ Ethnobotany Trail connects land, language and learning
Happy Family Literacy Day! Here’s what it means for 11 notable Indigenous storytellers

That’s it for now! If you have news or information that you want to share, email me: [email protected]

Help us raise $25,000 to get justice for Indigenous families who have lost their children

We just want to know what happened to our Indigenous children — and we’re continuing to fight for answers. On June 12 and 13, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is taking B.C’s Information and Privacy Commissioner and IndigiNews to the B.C Supreme Court. Why? To keep redacted documents from our storytellers. What is MCFD fighting so hard to hide?

We want answers. Will you pitch in so we can continue to hold colonial institutions accountable?

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