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The grandfathers and the grandmothers are in the children - teach them well. - Ojibway

Overview of Aboriginal Programs and Services

There are 2,145 Indigenous students in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools – Indigenous students are First Nation, Metis and Inuit.

The support from Indigenous Education is intended to enhance the experience of our Indigenous students. This support is intended to be in class, in school support that can benefit not only our Indigenous students, but all students.

Elementary School Indigenous Staff

  • At least one Indigenous Education staff member in every school
  • Academic support – in class only
  • Assist school based educators serving elementary Aboriginal students
  • Cultural support – encourage the inclusion of Aboriginal culture in classrooms and school
  • Social emotional support – provides strategies or refers as necessary
  • Provide advocacy for Aboriginal students and their needs
  • Liaison support- work with parents to strengthen the home-school team

Secondary School Indigenous Staff

  • Indigenous Education teams at every secondary school that includes: 1 teacher and 1 – 3 Indigenous education assistants.
  • Academic support – in class; one-on-one
  • Assist school based educators serving secondary Aboriginal students
  • Cultural support – encourage the inclusion of Indigenous culture in classrooms and school; support in the delivery of BC First Nations Studies 11/12 and English First Peoples.
  • Social emotional support – provides strategies or refers as necessary
  • Provide advocacy for Indigenous students and their needs
  • Liaison support- work with parents to strengthen the home-school team

An overarching goal of the Department of Aboriginal Education is to take steps to shift the organizational culture at NLPS to one of Collective Ownership of Aboriginal Education. Collective ownership can be defined simply as every person in the system embracing and taking responsibility for the success of our Aboriginal students. This is a simple statement, but a very complex task. A Collective Ownership of Aboriginal Education will bring us closer to the success and equity so deserving of Aboriginal people. We need Aboriginal Education to transcend the boundaries of departments, of job descriptions, of formal roles and responsibilities. We need to question our beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, comfort levels around all things Aboriginal. Therefore shifting our thinking away from “Aboriginal Education for Aboriginal students” to “what’s good for Aboriginal students is good for all students”.

Collective Ownership is:

  • Humility
  • Approaching Aboriginal Education with an inquiry mindset
  • Creating belonging
  • Being a role model/ leader for Aboriginal Education
  • Believing the growth and healthy development of our Aboriginal communities is the responsibility of everyone.
  • Indigenous Learning Team

  • Director of Instruction, Indigenous Learning
    Ted Cadwallader
    ted.cadwallader@sd68.bc.ca
    250 741-5318

    District Assistant Indigenous Learning
    Patti McCarthy
    pmccarthy@sd68.bc.ca
    250 741-5318

    Indigenous Learning Coordinator
    Tannis Calder
    tannis.calder@sd68.bc.ca
    250 268-3438

    Indigenous Learning Team (Staff by School)

  • Aboriginal Education Graduation Guide

  • Learn more about NLPS Aboriginal Graduation Path.
    Learn about:

    • Aboriginal Education Supports
    • Aboriginal Education Support Staff
    • Cap and Gown Commencement Ceremony
    • Dogwood Diploma
    • Graduation Dates
    • Parent/Guardian Tips
    • and more….
  • The Elder Project

  • Since February 2017, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools has participated in three meaningful projects thanks to the innovative work of renowned poet Wendy Morton.  Both NDSS and Ladysmith Secondary participated in the Elder Project and Who We Are (a spinoff of the Elder Project).