Lecturers at Yukon’s First Nations College Board received particular coaching Thursday because the board formally took management of eight colleges within the territory.
The day’s coaching included a day on the land, with workshops taught by First Nations information keepers and educators. Lecturers traveled to Whitehorse from a number of communities to attend.
The First Nations College Board grew to become a actuality in February after a referendum in 9 Yukon colleges. Eight voted to hitch the board, which goals to present Indigenous folks extra of a say within the territory’s training system. The colleges will proceed to make use of the British Columbia curriculum together with new programming.
Melissa Flynn, the varsity board’s interim government director and a member of the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation, was excited to start out working with lecturers forward of the varsity yr.
“It truly is a monumental second to acknowledge the leaders and the aspirations from elders which have come earlier than us to get us so far,” she stated. “We’re now able the place we will work along with the workforce of educators and actually embrace what fact and reconciliation seems to be like on our conventional territories.”
Coaching on the land
Thursday’s workshops included conventional beading, hand video games, foraging, and salmon fileting. Lecturers moved from station to station to attempt completely different actions.
Blake Lepine, an training advocate with the Yukon First Nation Training Directorate, was main a workshop on wildcrafting and foraging. Lepine is a member of the Carcross Tagish First Nation and has been working with children since he was 18.
“The children actually get pleasure from simply current. I believe that is one of many greatest elements of doing these conventional camps,” he stated. “We undervalue simply sitting round a campfire, and simply being collectively and sharing who we’re.”
Lepine stated he hoped lecturers on the workshop would have the ability to incorporate First Nations information and values into what they train in colleges.
Andy Carlick, a information keeper from the Tahltan First Nation who was instructing a salmon workshop, had related hopes.
Carlick was born and raised in Telegraph Creek, B.C. When he was rising up, he stated, he was taught totally by lecturers of European descent. Now, he is hoping Indigenous college students can have extra alternative to attach with their tradition in school.
“As I received older, I had an urge to go on my tradition and go on information to whoever desires to be taught,” he stated. “I believe it is vital for all of us to be taught from one another. It is not simply our tradition, nevertheless it’s different cultures too.”
‘Simply so hopeful’
Jean MacLean, principal of Watson Lake Secondary College, stated Thursday’s coaching gave her a number of concepts to include into this faculty yr.
MacLean hopes to speak with native First Nations about methods to incorporate extra of those experiences into her faculty’s curriculum.
“I simply assume it is actually vital to be open-minded, to take actually into consideration what your worldviews are,” she stated.
First Nations leaders within the Yukon have been advocating for extra say within the territory’s training system for many years.
“There are leaders and ancestors that got here earlier than us and a few of them did not see this present day. However they fought,” Flynn stated.
Flynn pressured that returning college students would nonetheless are available in and see the identical lecturers, classmates, and different acquainted faces.
However, she stated, the brand new faculty board is a major step ahead.
“I believe that actual reconciliation coming to fruition is simply so hopeful.”