On Tuesday, June 21, 2011, School District #38 (Richmond) signed their first Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA).
This Agreement will be the vehicle, which will enhance the learning of all students in the District so that all of us, educators, students and families may have some knowledge about the history and culture of Aboriginal peoples. The AEEA is the result of the intense collaborative work over the last four years involving many dedicated people and stakeholders who make up the AEEA Committee.
Traditional songs and dances, some of which were performed by our students in the District, entertained students, teachers, district administrators and personnel, community members, the MLAs for Richmond, the Richmond Board of Education, and the Minister of Education.
Elder Mary Charles from the Musqueam Indian Band opened the Signing Ceremony, held at Blundell Elementary School. Her kind and endearing words to the students were inspirational and encouraging.
Councillor Jordan Point from the Musqueam Indian Band remarked how the development of this agreement was done in a positive and inclusive way, which is an important aspect in Aboriginal education.
Encouraging words from the Honourable George Abbott, Minister of Education reiterated the Government’s priority to Aboriginal Education and the commitment to work together to improve the success of all Aboriginal students.
After the signing of the Agreement, Board Chair Donna Sargent thanked all parties for making the commitment to help all students have a better understanding of Aboriginal heritage and culture.
The willingness of the community to sign this agreement and thereby embrace the goals is a testament to the optimism with which we face the future together.
Here is a copy of the Agreement for your perusal: