In addition to our divisional Indigenous Education Program Coordinator, each of our schools has a designated Indigenous Education lead who helps further our divisional priorities in Indigenous Education. At Peace River School Division, we are committed to:
We build relationships. We connect with students, staff and teachers within our schools. We connect with other schools and we connect with our wider community.
Connecting with Culture
We connect students and staff with the history, culture and perspectives of (especially local) Indigenous people in a culturally appropriate way that honours protocol and inspires pride in our Indigenous students.
We increase student and community engagement in our school system by demonstrating that school is now a safe place that provides all students with an education that will lead to increased opportunities without sacrificing culture. Our success will be measured by the increased attendance and academic achievement of our Indigenous students.
We support division-wide events that celebrate culture, further reconciliation and/or foster academic achievement. By showing how much we value Indigenous culture, we hope our Indigenous students will be inspired to self-declare.
"Many people should bring their wisdom to the schools to help their children be successful with their learning."
- Helen Piper, Cree Elder
Indigenous Education Program Coordinator
The primary goal of the Indigenous Education Program Coordinator is to support student learning.
Supporting all PRSD students develop their understanding of, and respect for, Indigenous history, culture, language, contributions, perspectives, experiences and contemporary contexts of Indigenous peoples.
Supporting Indigenous students to ensure that they experience a sense of belonging, independence, mastery and generosity as an integral part of PRSD. A result of this will be increasing attendance and academic achievement.
Offers support for our educational leaders.
Supporting division-level staff as they set a direction for our school division that will enable us to meet the new Leadership Quality Standards and meaningfully participate in the ongoing process of Truth and Reconciliation.
Supporting principals to Lead the Learning in terms of supporting staff in meeting the new TQS requirements
Supporting school-based Indigenous Education leads as they strive to fulfill their role as a resource for their school staff
Supporting teachers as they explore what “Applying Foundational Knowledge” can look like in the classroom.
To support our educational leaders, the coordinator ensures that we are collaborating effectively with our Indigenous communities.
Supporting Indigenous communities to ensure that they experience our schools as a place where their knowledge and input is welcomed. They will see clear evidence that our schools are supporting our Indigenous students and that we place a high priority on ensuring that all of our students are developing their understanding of, and respect for, Indigenous history, culture, language, contributions, perspectives, experiences and contemporary contexts.
How Does PRSD Celebrate Indigenous Culture?
Peace River School Division (PRSD) is committed to meeting the needs of all learners in supportive, kind and caring school environments. Goals, programs and initiatives of the Indigenous Education program includes, but is not limited to:
- Establishing school-based Indigenous Support Workers or Indigenous Education leads at all of our schools
- Providing ongoing professional development for all PRSD teachers
- Supporting teachers and administrators in naturally weaving Indigenous ways of knowing, cultures, histories and languages into the classroom and school on a regular basis
- Developing whole-school activities recognizing Orange Shirt Day, Métis Week, and Indigenous Peoples month
- Encouraging land-based learning experiences and Indigenous studies classes
- Hosting divisional events such as our Hand Games tournament
- Participating in regional events such as the Aboriginal Youth Career Workshop
- Partnering with community agencies to increase services for students
- Honouring our Indigenous graduates with the opportunity to participate in Eagle Feather Ceremony
Did you know that for each student that declares Indigenous ancestry, schools receive an additional $1200 per child from the Alberta Government? The funds are delivered to the school division and combined with the division's overall budget provided by Alberta Education. This means more funding for schools, which translates to more opportunities for students. In Peace River School Division, we use the funds to support the initiatives as outlined in the “How Does PRSD Embrace Indigenous Culture?” section of this website and our brochure. If you believe there is Indigenous ancestry in your family, we are asking families to consider declaring their sons/daughters.
How to Declare
Declaring is NOT done automatically. Parents declare their child’s status on the school registration form that is completed online every year. There is a specific location on the School Registration Form that asks if you would like to declare your child. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school office staff or school principal for assistance. You are not required to declare proof of ancestry, although we are certainly hoping you will do so.
Eagle Feather Graduation Ceremonies - June 2021
Peace River School Division Indigenous graduates throughout the division were celebrated in special ceremonies and presented with a blanket, Eagle Feather and the teachings that come with this high honour. Pictured here are 2021 graduates from Peace Regional Outreach Campus in Peace River.
Virtual Aboriginal Youth Career Workshop - May 5, 2021
Virtual Aboriginal Youth Career Workshop
This unique regional event is an opportunity for grade nine-twelve Indigenous students to connect with Indigenous role models in a wide variety of different careers.
Here are some of the careers that students had the opportunity to learn about:
- Aboriginal Teacher Education Program
- Alberta Health Services careers
- Bold Eagle (military)
- Culinary Arts, Chef Shane Chartrand (River Cree resort)
- Funeral home careers
- Tattoo artist
- Social Worker
- Tradewinds to Success (boilermaker, carpenter, electrician, welder, plumber)
In addition to the practicality of learning more about possible careers from people
who are living those career paths, or have career supports to offer, this event also
featured inspiring keynote speakers.
National Day of Awareness in Canada for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls - May 5, 2021
Spotlight on Grimshaw Public School:
The Indigenous Support Worker, Bev Dachuk, presented age-appropriate information to different classes at Grimshaw Public School. They spoke about REDress Day and what it means and why red. In Junior high, she showed a bit of a presentation that gave statistics, quotations and shared a couple of MMIWG stories from Alberta. The importance of keeping each other safe and making sure you always know your surroundings was emphasized. Red dresses were displayed outside the school on the fence in order to raise greater awareness in our community.
First Nation, Métis and Inuit Bursary
Use the Northern Alberta Development Council on-line application. Applications are also available in PDF form and can be mailed to the NADC. Please follow the mailing directions on the form. Applications for a $6,000 or $10,000 bursary must be received in the NADC office by June 1, 2021, for the first selection meeting or November 15, 2021 for the second selection meeting.
Details about the Bursary below (perhaps just include a link to this info):
The First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) NADC Bursary is a return service bursary of varying amounts. Students in pre-apprenticeship training, or in a certificate or diploma studies can access up to $6,000 for their studies. Students in a Bachelor’s, Masters’ or PhD program can access $10,000 per year for any year of their studies. The FNMI NADC bursary program provides funding for students in the form of a non-repayable bursary if you agree to live and work in the north for one year of full time employment in return for each year of bursary support received. Students must apply for the bursary for each year they want to be considered. The goal of this bursary is to assist FNMI students to obtain the skills and knowledge to enter or re-enter the workforce in northern Alberta.
You may receive a FNMI NADC Bursary if you:
Have been a resident of Alberta for 12 consecutive months before the start of your program
- Are enrolled full time in a post-secondary program that is designated for provincial funding
- In a program that is at least 12 weeks in length for half of a bursary or 16 weeks for a full bursary
- Are not in default of a provincial student loan
- Can provide proof of Aboriginal Ancestry (see application for more detail)
Return Service Commitment
Selected recipients sign a return service contract with Alberta Advanced Education.
* Please note that this application site cannot be accessed by cell phone or tablet. Applicants are required to use a PC to complete the application.
**Applicants do not have the ability to save their application partway through. We encourage applicants to review the PDF form to assist you in completing the application and having all required information when you start to complete your application.
Rupertsland Institue Post-Secondary Education Funding
Alberta Student Aid Scholarships for Indigenous Students
Click here for scholarships and awards for applicants who are Status Indian/First Nations, Non-Status Indian/First Nations, or Inuit.