Even though students had Tuesday off, Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan Campus was a busy place as it hosted the SD83 Ministry Designated Inservice Day on Indigenous Education.
Over 500 teachers heard from local Indigenous leaders Gerry Thomas and Chief Judy Wilson and then from Nicole Jules, a 2016 SD83 grad, who talked about her experience as an Indigenous student and graduate. After her presentation she received a standing ovation from the audience.
This was followed by a team of educators from Southern Okanagan Secondary School who talked about the EPIC (Experiential, Project-based, Indigenous and Community) program, a cross curricular program which has evolved in a community focused healing model. The program is inclusive, and takes place in a variety of venues (including outdoors, community venues, and the school). Learning occurs through group discussion, group and individual projects, outdoor pursuits, skill development sessions and peer teaching. Students earn credits in Math, PE, English and Applied Design Skills and Technologies (ADST) Woodwork.
After a lunch break featuring homemade bannock, participants spent the afternoon at a variety of workshops including Exploring Indigenous Literature, Secwepemc baskets, Traditional Medicine, Circle of Courage, The Blanket Exercise, Secwepemc Language, Learning Walks and more.