Sylvan Lake teachers participate in a traditional Indigenous game where each person must launch a small weighted bag over their head with their feet. One of the sessions the teachers participated in was Traditional Indigenous Games. This session showed the educators a few different games they can teach their students. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake teachers spend the day in Indigenous Learning sessions

Sylvan Lake teachers attended various sessions about including Indigenous learning in their courses

Roughly 120 teachers and administrative staff from Sylvan Lake and Poplar Ridge came together Sept. 20 for specialized learning presentations.

Tracey Lynn and Suzanne Thibault organized the Indigenous Learning Presentations for the staff members.

Various sessions were held throughout the day on different ways to incorporate First Nations, Metis and Inuit studies into the curriculum.

“We did this just for Sylvan Lake,” said Thibault. “Normally something like this we would have to go to Edmonton or Calgary, and you can’t really get an entire staff to do that.”

The session was created for the public school teachers to fulfill the government’s call to action for truth and reconciliation.

It will help staff at the public schools incorporate Indigenous learning in all classes.

One of the terms of the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action asked for the federal government to “draft new Aboriginal education legislation with the full participation and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples.”

The multiple break out groups and discussions were led by Indigenous people both within Chinook’s Edge School Division and through Alberta Teacher’s Association.

The speakers with Chinook’s Edge know what resources and supplies are available to the teachers, Lynn said.

The day-long event for Sylvan Lake instructors included a key note session by Etienna Moostoos Lafferty on “10 Things in Indigenous Education.”

“It’s not just First Nations subject, there are sessions about Metis and Inuit as well, so it’s very inclusive,” Lynn said.


Teachers work on an Haida art project during the Indigenous Learning Presentations on Sept. 20. The art project involved looking at spirit animals and creating an piece of art traditional to the people of Haida Gwaii. Photo by Sandy Bexon

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