We’re 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 that impacts those living on Vancouver Island. 

What you need to know: K-12

  • The Liberal government announced $5 million in funding towards Pathways to Education, a program that aims to help low-income students to remain engaged in their education. Minister of Employment Carla Qualtrough announced the funding on Sept. 29, stating that it will “ensure that young people in low-income communities will continue to have access to the critical supports they need and ensure they have access to safe and accessible online resources.”
  • Carihi Secondary School in Campbell River is the second COVID-19 exposure on the Island this month. Carihi Secondary School sent out a COVID notification letter on Oct. 8 stating that if students had no symptoms, or did not receive notice to self isolate, they could continue to attend school as normal. The first Island school exposure happened at Port Alberni District Secondary School, where a student also tested positive.
  • Craigflower Elementary is hosting a Virtual Book Fair from Nov. 9-15 at Munro’s Books in Victoria. For every book sold in store in support of the school, half of the profits will go to the school library. 
  • The BC3 Challenge Entrepreneurial Training for Indingeous Youth is accepting applications from students to attend four days of workshops to develop their business skills and explore their entrepreneurial spirit. The program started in 2018 and was co-developed with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres and the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. Training is online and in the evenings so that students who are in school can still attend. For more information visit their website.
  • In a recent poll published by Leger “Decision 2020: Provincial Politics in British Columbia”, B.C. respondents placed education in the top four most important election themes however, in the Oct. 13 provincial leaders’ debate, education issues were not brought to the forefront.. 

What you need to know: Post-secondary 

  • The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres is offering a limited one time COVID-19 relief fund payment of $1,500 to help B.C. First Nations students enrolled in a post-secondary program. Those registered as Status Indians without band membership are eligible to receive support such as counselling, mental health and wellness, technology assistance for online schooling, and additional tuition support to continue with their studies on behalf of Indigenous Services Canada.
  • Green Party leader Paul Manly, representing Nanaimo and Ladysmith, said in the house on Oct. 6 that the Greens continue to advocate for the complete elimination of tuition funds for post-secondary students to “create an educated workforce without burdening our young people with unsustainable debt.”
  • UVic and The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and Government House have partnered to engage students in dialogues on Democracy and Civic Engagement. Twenty-four students from post-secondary institutions across B.C. who wish to be a part of the dialogues will be drawn from a lottery to participate in four virtual forums to learn and deliberate about civil political discourse and democratic engagement. If you are a university student and are interested in joining email: engagewithus@uvic.ca 

Our latest education stories: 

That’s it for now! If you have news or information that you want to share, email me: catherine@indiginews.com.

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