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Indigenous Education Program

​Our Indigenous Student Advocate,​​ Melissa Madden  provides emotional, social, academic and cultural support to students. She works closely with families, teachers and other personnel to provide service for students.  Ms. Madden is available everyday at to support our students at Watson Road Elementary.

​Melissa Madden's schedule is Monday - Friday:  8:00 - 3:30 pm.​

Children who have Indigenous ancestry are eligible to receive services through the Aboriginal Education Program in School District No 23.  Indigenous Student Advocates assist students to help them succeed in school. 

Indigenous Student Advocates are the vital link between Indigenous students and the school system.  Because they provide the unique perspective of a shared cultural heritage, they serve as a communication network among students, their families, and the other school personnel.  The importance of this perspective has been endorsed by the Human Rights Commission by approving preferential hiring of qualified people with aboriginal heritage.

Advocates form the important relationships with Indigenous students that help them to be successful in the school system.

Services that our staff provides are as follows:

· Ensuring students to remain in school and graduate

· Increasing attendance and lessening tardiness if problems exist

· Providing academic and personal/behavior goal setting

· Encouraging positive self-esteem and peer interaction

· Motivating and maintaining your child's success in school

· Encouraging students to participate in cultural learning, events, sports, art projects, and field trips (with safety protocols in place)

· Providing problem solving to issues and concerns regarding school and home

· Encouraging parental/guardian involvement and support

· Increased access to resources available from our Indigenous Education Program

Each September those students who who have Indigenous ancestry, will be reminded of the services provided to your children, and parents may choose to have cultural or academic support (or both).

Our aim is to see every Indigenous student who enters Kindergarten graduate and have a successful, positive school experience.

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The story of the Four Food Chiefs teaches to  respect everything around us from the food we eat to the people around us to the land that we walk on. This means respecting all cultures as well. Here at Watson we are lucky to have a diverse team with different backgrounds as we are able to help and teach one another. As  educators it is important to constantly be growing our teaching and ideologies as we as a whole culture are         constantly evolving.

Within the last couple years the media has been flooded with cultural appropriation and I want to explain what this is.  The general definition is, "the act of taking from someone else's culture without their consent. This can include using aspects of traditional knowledge or cultural expressions, as well as particular music, dances, regalia, cuisine, symbols, ceremonies, artistic expressions and so on". Canada is so diverse it is important to appreciate and celebrate all the cultures that make up this great country, but it should be done in a respectful manner. 

For more information regarding this you can reach out to me at melissa.madden@sd23.bc.ca or this website (click here) as it has amazing resources about Canadian history including more information on Indigenous people and cultural appropriation .

 





TEACHER RESOURCE LINK:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jtGb1DSpzuXZDpQm0UthNY_okd0UZuDG1EWjxRUt8qQ/edit