Division News

Division News

Northland pleased with NCET Report release

Posted on September 30

Northland School Division No.61 (NSD61) is very pleased to see the release of the Northland School Division Community Engagement Team (NCET) Report.

The Northland Community Engagement Team was formed by then Education Minister Dave Hancock to provide strategic advice, direction and leadership in enhancing community engagement in NSD61. The team was also asked to provide recommendations on key issues and priorities arising from the development of a community-based response to the Northland Inquiry Team Report.

The NCET developed a vision for Aboriginal Education Excellence that is learner focused and culturally rich. They want students to succeed academically while maintaining an understanding and appreciation for Indigenous language, culture and history. The team also created a Community Engagement Framework (CEF) because they believe family support and community empowerment are critical to education.

As the co-chair of the NCET, with Colin Kelly, I was very impressed by the committee’s passion and their vision for education for northerners and more specifically for Aboriginal education in all Northland School Division schools,” said Pearl Calahasen, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake. “I look forward to seeing the peoples wishes realized.”

NSD61 schools support the vision for Aboriginal Education Excellence. Colin Kelly, Official Trustee and NCET Co-chair says schools are working with stakeholders to host cultural camps and develop local curriculum based courses to increase student engagement.

“Educators are reaching out to Elders and community members to teach and share First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) traditions such as storytelling, Aboriginal language, fish scaling, moose-hide tanning and traditional art,” said Kelly. “Schools are working with stakeholders to develop community stewardship programs and local curriculum based courses. This shift towards curriculum weaving allows students to make connections, retain their distinctive cultural identity and achieve academic excellence.”

The NCET recommended the development of a new governance structure for Northland School Division. Kelly says the team supports a ward system and appointed representation from Elders, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta and Métis Settlements General Council; however he adds they cannot support term limits.

“We do not support term limits on Board members because no such prohibition exists in other Alberta school authorities and we wish to see the Local School Board Committees stay in their present form with defined roles.”

When looking beyond the NCET Report, the team recommends the Government of Alberta should re-establish a Board of Trustees for NSD61, adopt and implement the Community Engagement Framework (CEF), accept and implement the NCET recommendations and take to heart what communities said, as reflected in the vision, the CEF and priority recommendations.  

Click on the link below to view the Northland School Division Community Engagement Report.