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Education agreement aims to best meet needs of Esquimalt Nation students

Deal defines roles for SD61, First Nation in improving educational outcomes
The Greater Victoria School District and Esquimalt Nation have signed a Local Education Agreement designed to better define success and improve educational outcomes for students. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Greater Victoria School District (SD61) and Esquimalt Nation have signed an agreement aimed at collaboratively supporting local students and their families.

Since 2020 the two groups have been working on the Local Education Agreement, which aims to build relationships and create strategies to provide wrap-around supports for Esquimalt Nation students and families.

It also serves as a road map for defining success and outlines respective roles in improving educational outcomes and graduation rates, SD61 stated in a news release.

Esquimalt Nation Chief Rob Thomas called the agreement signing a “historic moment.”

“It is our mutual responsibility to ensure that our students are not just pushed through the system,” he stated in the release, “but that we take the time to walk alongside them and guide them towards a future that is full of opportunity.”

The needs of Indigenous children must not be lost in a system that was founded upon colonial values, added Esquimalt Nation education director Katie Dyer.

“All children deserve a just and equitable education system that is responsive to their needs and promotes the positive development of their self-identity, upholds their values and culture and supports them in meeting or exceeding grade-level expectations,” she said.

From the SD61 perspective, interim superintendent Deb Whitten said the district has joint accountability in learning and moving forward, as it works to improve educational outcomes for Esquimalt Nation students.

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