“Self-Identification of Aboriginal Ancestry” is an easy process that allows your child to access additional school supports from the Aboriginal Education Department. If you have First Nations, Metis, or Inuit ancestry anywhere in your family line this opportunity may be of interest to you.
Who Can Self-Identify as an Aboriginal Student?
Aboriginal Ancestry is determined on a voluntary basis through self-identification. This includes First Nations (status or non-status), Metis, or Inuit Ancestry. No documentation is required and the ancestry can go back several generations.
Why Should I Self-Identify?
We encourage all students of First Nations, Metis, or Inuit Ancestry to complete a Self-Identification form as this allows you to access various supports and programs during the school year. These include academic supports, social/emotional supports, and cultural activities.
Some families are hesitant to self-identify because of past experiences, or because of concerns their child will be singled out or made to feel uncomfortable. We want to assure you we are sensitive to these views and will support your child in whatever way is most comfortable.
How do I Self-Identify?
There are 3 ways:
- Pick up a Self-Identification form at your school office in September.
- Contact the Aboriginal Education Department to have a form mailed to you.
- Download the form from the Aboriginal Education web site and drop it off at your child’s school:
Will my child be pulled out of class for extra supports?
When we take students from class for support it is done in alignment with existing support plans that have been developed by either the classroom teacher or the school-based support team. This is an optional service for those student who may qualify. Parents can decline out of class services.
Some programs such as Grade 6 IGNITE Camp, Student Leadership, and visits to post-secondary institutions require students to miss class. These types of activities require signed field trip permission forms. As such, your child will participate only if you agree.
What types of support are available?
Aboriginal Education supports can take the form of additional academic support, field trips or activity camps, or visits to post-secondary institutions. We also offer cultural programs and activities in some schools. In some cases, the Aboriginal Education staff are simply another adult who is “looking out” for your child; someone to make a positive connection; someone to “be there” if your child wants to talk or get help with anything.
In Secondary School we track all Aboriginal student progress from Grades 8- 12 and we do our best to make sure each student is on track to graduate. If any students require additional supports along the way, we either provide them directly or we work with other school support staff to ensure students receive the help they need.
Each year we host our own Aboriginal Achievement Awards. These are held for students in Grades 10-12 and are in addition to school-based Awards ceremonies. At this event we recognize student achievement in Grades 10-12, with a special recognition of our graduating students.
Can I self-identify and choose to not receive extra supports
In some cases parents and students choose to self-identify but do not want us to provide additional supports. Our funding regulations require us to maintain regular contact with all students who have self-identified; however, this contact does not have to be in the form of specific academic supports. Our goal is to work with parents and students to determine the type and amount of support and/or contact that is comfortable and useful for each student. Some of our supports might include: monitoring attendance and academic progress, special events or field trips that might be of interest, or simply checking in with your child.
What is an Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement, and does School District No. 42 have one of these?
“Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements exist in many districts throughout the province and contain goals and objectives to promote and support and success for Aboriginal students in schools. The value in these agreements comes from the collaborative nature in which they are constructed. School Districts, local First Nations bands, local Metis members, and other community organizations who support Aboriginal Youth meet throughout the year to discuss topics relating to education for Aboriginal students, and to review progress related to goals in the local Enhancement Agreement.
School District 42 (Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows) signed our 4th Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement on Thursday April 23rd, 2015 – the first district in the province to do this. Each 5-year agreement builds from the goals from the previous , and represents a collaborative vision for the success of Aboriginal Youth.”
A copy of our 2010-2015 and 2015 – 2020 Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements can be found on the SD42 website.
How can I find out who are the Aboriginal Education staff members at my child’s school?
You can ask at the school office, check on the Aboriginal Education website, or call us at the Aboriginal Education office (604-466-6265)
Who do I contact with other questions?
If you have any other questions please contact:
Kirsten Urdahl-Serr, Acting Principal of Aboriginal Education: