New Westminster school district commits to reconciliation

In the spirit of reconciliation, the New Westminster school board has officially committed to implementing recommendations outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Trustee Mark Gifford presented the motion at Tuesday night’s committee meeting, admitting an official motion was a few years late as the report was published in 2015.

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Despite not having officially endorsed the report right away, the New Westminster school district has been supportive of initiatives that seek to address the calls to actions laid out by Truth and Reconciliation Commission, according to Gifford.

The district’s Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement is one such initiative. It’s a five-year plan that outlines how the district will support the academic, social and cultural achievement of its Aboriginal students. The most recent agreement, which is the third edition, was endorsed by the board this week.

It was developed in collaboration with the Aboriginal advisory committee and lays out six guiding principles: collaboration, engagement, equity, inclusion, innovation and integrity. The theme of the 2018-2023 agreement is reconciliation, and it aims to ensure staff, students and the community continue to learn about Aboriginal history, culture and perspectives.

“I thought in renewing our Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement this would be a good opportunity to do that,” Gifford said of his motion to implement the Truth and Reconciliation report.


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