Principals Meet in Winnipeg

On December 5 & 6, 2013, MFNERC’s team leaders, support workers, and manager of service delivery convened a well-received principals’ roundtable at the Greenwood Inn in Winnipeg. Thirty principals, vice principals, and directors of education were on hand for the two-day session, and one major focus of the roundtable was science programming.

On the first morning, Wilfred Buck, MFNERC Science Specialist, spoke about how science has many connections with First Nations perspectives, including legends and constellations. He demonstrated how to make science more engaging for students in First Nations schools, and how this can lead to more interest in science-related careers. The afternoon activities involved discussions/sharing on how school administrators resolve and address difficult issues in their schools. The afternoon also included a survey presentation by MFNERC’s governance specialist.

Principal Chris Goring of Children of the Earth High School speaking about their programs and student services.

Principal Chris Goring of Children of the Earth High School speaking about their programs and student services.

On the second morning, the school principals and delegates visited the Niji Mahkwa School (N – 8), Songide’ Ewin Alternative Program (ages 13 to 21), and the Children of the Earth High School in Winnipeg. Principals and coordinators of these schools provided program information and gave tours of their facilities. In addition to offering regular programming, school initiated courses, shop-based courses, and special youth programs such as the Medical Careers Exploration Program and the Youth Opportunity Program at CEHS, each of these schools prominently promotes culture and traditional teachings. All of them offered a very welcoming atmosphere for students and staff.  Children of the Earth recognizes the value of a holistic cultural approach to learning that embraces the physical, academic, social, and spiritual needs of our students. Aboriginal perspectives are incorporated into all classes, enriching learning and making curricular outcomes more meaningful to the students.” Special thanks to Debbie, Karyn, and Chris for graciously agreeing to share their schools and visions with us.

In the afternoon, delegates provided feedback of the tours and the roundtable overall. Feedback and testimonials were exceptional.  All present said they were taking back an array of ideas to bolster their schools, which is one of the mains goals of MFNERC’s principals’ roundtables.

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