Métis people weigh in on education in Slave Lake, High Prairie, and Peavine

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Rupertsland Institute is researching Métis people’s experience with Kindergarten to Grade 12 education. Part of this was three in-person community engagement sessions in the Lesser Slave Lake area: Peavine Métis Settlement (April 22), High Prairie (April 29), and Slave Lake (April 30).

Lisa Cruickshank is Rupertsland’s director of teaching and learning Métis education.

She says, “the purpose of the work is to help inform Rupertsland Institute, which is the Métis education mandate holder given by the Métis Nation of Alberta back in 2012.”

“Rupertsland is responsible to our key stakeholders which are the Métis community of Alberta,” she adds. One of the goals of the community engagement is “to bridge the grassroots to our high level planning,” she adds.

“We really want to hear from parents and community,” she says. “If they could dream big, what would they like to see.”

The research started last August and a report should be ready by the fall.

Once the report is available, the leadership of Rupertsland will use it in strategic planning.

The research has four sections – community engagement, curriculum analysis, literary review of existing approved resources, and demographic data analysis.

The literary review found that the current list of approved Alberta Education resources has only four Métis-specific resources.

“We’ve created authentic Métis education resources by Métis educators” says Cruickshank.

Many of these resources were funded by Alberta Education, she adds, but aren’t on the list. Rupertsland is working to change this, but the process can take up to seven or eight years.

Teachers are free to use resources from other places, but often start with approved list.

Many teachers use Rupertsland resources, says Cruickshank.

“We are the go to place for Métis education resources in Alberta,” adds Cruickshank.

Older resources were made with a Eurocentric, rather than Métis worldview, she adds.

Rupertsland hired two Métis educators to do the research – Terry Lynn Cook and Jason Bigcharles.

Cook is a member of Métis Nation of Alberta. She grew up in the Kinuso area.

Bigcharles is from East Prairie Métis Settlement.

A virtual K to 12 education engagement session is coming up on May 9 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The survey is also available on rupertsland.org until May 30.

The community engagement events and survey are open to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles of Métis Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Alberta.

Share this post

Post Comment