Northland engagement team draws on community experience
Team will promote value of education for students and their parentsEdmonton... A team with strong connections to Aboriginal education has been assembled to provide the strategic advice, direction and leadership needed to address issues identified in a year-long inquiry into Northland School Division.
“Engaging Northland communities in the future of education of their young people is essential if we want the students in those communities to find genuine and lasting success,” said Education Minister Dave Hancock. “I thank the members of the team for their willingness to participate in this incredibly important work.”Hancock dissolved the previous Northland board and appointed Colin Kelly as Official Trustee to oversee the jurisdiction in January 2010 amid long-standing concerns over weak student learning outcomes and matters related to governance and operations of the vast jurisdiction. Hancock also appointed a three-member inquiry team, which reported its findings this January.
The community engagement team will be co-chaired by Kelly and Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pearl Calahasen, a former minister responsible for Aboriginal relations and an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education.
The community engagement team is comprised of:
- Four community Elders:
- Two members from Treaty 8 First Nations
- Two members from Métis communities
- Three members from communities at large
- One member from a post-secondary education institution
- One member from the FNMI Education Partnership Council
- One member from Alberta Education
Calahasen said the team needs to look beyond reviewing the inquiry report’s 48 recommendations, to challenge some of its assumptions and to engage the community in making education achievement a priority for Northland’s students and their parents.
“I want to see Northland become a model for Aboriginal education in Alberta where student success is valued by communities and particularly by parents,” she said. “For that to happen, we need to engage and involve the communities in the process of change and build strong and genuine relationships.”
The committee will begin its work immediately and report regularly to the Minister.
The Northland Community Engagement TeamPurpose: To provide strategic advice, direction and leadership in securing community engagement in Northland School Division (NSD). The team will work with Government of Alberta and NSD staff to maximize the level of engagement necessary to ensure success of all students.
Accountability: The team reports to the Minister of Education. The Minister, Treaty 8 Education Chief Rose Laboucan and Métis Settlements General Council President Randy Hardy will provide oversight and ensure that their respective organizations are kept apprised of the team’s work.
Colin Kelly, Peace River; Official Trustee, Northland School Division
Pearl Calahasen, Grouard; MLA Lesser Slave Lake; adjunct professor, U of A Faculty of Education
Harry Lawrence, Duncan’s First Nation
Joyce Parenteau, Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement
Pauline Ominiyak, Sucker Creek First Nation
Paula Giroux, Driftpile First Nation; Citizen Engagement Co-ordinator, Treaty 8 Bilateral Process
Rita Marten, Fort Chipewyan First Nation; Education Director, Athabasca Tribal Council
Members of Métis communities:
David Lamouche, Gift Lake Métis Settlement; Councillor
Jeff Chalifoux, Grouard; Consultant
David MacPhee, Grande Cache; CEO, Aseniwuche Development Corp.
Laurie Thompson, Kikino Métis Settlement; Principal, Kikino School
Alvin Findlay, Grande Cache; President, Mountain Métis Centre
Member of post-secondary institution:
Archie Cunningham, Peavine Métis Settlement; Chair, Board of Governors, Northern Lakes College
Liaison to FNMI Education Partnership Council:
Inier Cardinal, Gift Lake Métis Settlement
Representing Alberta Education:
Linda Pelly, Director, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Services Branch