Wetaskiwin public board meeting highlights June 20

Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools discuss school names, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

To implement the board’s approved strategic direction, the board approved name changes to the following schools effective for the 2017-2018 school year:

Wetaskiwin Composite High School Off-Campus will be re-named to Wetaskiwin Outreach; C.B. McMurdo School will be renamed to C.B. McMurdo Centre.

C.B. McMurdo will be a centre for the Wetaskiwin Outreach and Home Education programs. The site will also host division and community programs such as Indigenous, Mental Health Capacity Building, Hope Mission, and Boys &Girls Club.

Previously, on September 27, 2016, the board also approved the following school name changes, effective for the 2017-2018 School Year: Centennial School, École Queen Elizabeth School, Griffiths-Scott School, Norwood School and Parkdale School.

Celebrating Excellence – Diverse Communities

Over the last two years, Connie Slevinsky (FSL) and student Brandon undertook innovative, creative and courageous work together to establish and build supports for LGBTQ students and their families.

Along with director of Support Services Nina Wyrostok, they highlighted for the board the safe space and forum now in place in schools and in the community for students to share their realities, their resources and work together to build a diverse and educated community.

Celebrating Excellence – SLIC

Parkdale Leadership students (Arissa, Catherine and Eva) highlighted WRPS’s 6th annual Student Leadership Initiative Conference held on May 5 with the theme of 150 Ways Students Can Change the World. Thirteen schools attended the event along with Miyo Wahkotowin’s student leadership group. The day was an outstanding success and included tipi building, cultural teachings, and motivational speakers.

Principles of Reconciliation

As part of the implementation of WRPS’ Indigenous Strategic Plan, the board adopted the Principles of Reconciliation identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to guide leadership and operational decisions in Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools.

Text of principles

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada believes that in order for Canada to flourish in the 21st century, reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canada must be based on the following principles.

1) The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the framework for reconciliation at all levels and across all sectors of Canadian society.

2) First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, as the original peoples of this country and as self-determining peoples, have Treaty, constitutional, and human rights that must be recognized and respected.

3) Reconciliation is a process of healing of relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology, and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms.

4) Reconciliation requires constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ education, cultures and languages, health, child welfare, the administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.

5) Reconciliation must create a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.

6) All Canadians, as Treaty peoples, share responsibility for establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships.

7) The perspectives and understandings of Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers of the ethics, concepts, and practices of reconciliation are vital to long-term reconciliation.

8) Supporting Aboriginal peoples’ cultural revitalization and integrating Indigenous knowledge systems, oral histories, laws, protocols, and connections to the land into the reconciliation process are essential.

9) Reconciliation requires political will, joint leadership, trust building, accountability, and transparency, as well as a substantial investment of resources.

10) Reconciliation requires sustained public education and dialogue, including youth engagement, about the history and legacy of residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal rights, as well as the historical and contemporary contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canadian society. Reference: “What We Have Learned: Principles of Trust and Reconciliation”. Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication. 2015. www.trc.ca

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