(Surrey, BC) – The BC Métis Federation reported an issue of Métis community concerns from the Nova Métis Heritage Association on June 12th in a letter to the Aboriginal Principal with Surrey School District #36. The situation developed after a proposed Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA) was presented to the Nova Métis Heritage Association (NOVA) and President Mr. Ken Fisher raised concerns that the draft agreement did not ensure meaningful or respectful Métis language or symbolic references in the document.
The AEEA set out a framework to ensure Aboriginal cultural support and initiatives to increase Aboriginal student success including an increase to grade 12 Aboriginal student graduation rates. The proposed AEEA set out a new five (5) year commitment by the Surrey School District #36 and was building on a previous agreement and commitment. The NOVA concerns were raised due to the lack on meaningful participation in the past agreement, coupled by the lack of language and Métis symbolic recognition.
On June 19th the Surrey School District Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Aboriginal Principal met with NOVA President Ken Fisher and various discussions and agreements were reached to ensure meaningful and symbolic participation.
BC Metis Federation President Keith Henry stated, “This is a great outcome. This is a large School District with hundreds of Métis kinds in their schools. These students need and deserve cultural support and inclusion of our Métis culture.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry added, “I hope the rest of the school districts in British Columbia, approximately 60, look to this agreement as a new example how to ensure meaningful Métis participation and not just a token seat on an Aboriginal Advisory committee, our Métis children deserve Métis culture as part of their education experience. We all want success and Métis cultural inclusion.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “The BC Métis Federation is proud to support our communities achieve success. In this case we supported the stand of NOVA to ensure meaningful participation. They have made progress and this sets better policy and participation for their community leaders. This is a great outcome and I thank NOVA for their leadership and strength as well as recognize the Surrey School District #36 for the flexibility and solution oriented approach. The outcome is a win-win for all.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation please go to www.bcmetis.com.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-June-20th-2013-Agreement-Progress-in-Surrey.pdf” style=”download”]BCMF Press Release June 20th, 2013 Agreement Progress in Surrey[/ilink]