In March of this year, the B.C. Ministry of Education and Child Care and the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) announced plans to implement an Indigenous-focused graduation requirement for secondary students. This new provincial graduation requirement will see students complete at least one Indigenous-focused course in Grade 10, 11 or 12 and will apply to students graduating in the 2023/2024 school year.
Since that announcement, the North Vancouver School District, through a district-wide implementation team, has been working with secondary school staff to develop individual school implementation plans. Each school's implementation plan enables students to meet the new graduation requirement through a course(s) that supports a deep understanding and appreciation of Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing.
Throughout this process, the district-wide implementation team has also been working with rights holders, Skwxwú7mesh Nation and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and is keen to acknowledge its appreciation for the support and guidance received from both Nations.
The Indigenous-focused graduation requirement is a significant undertaking, and the school district is working to ensure teachers are supported in their work, aligned with the goal of providing engaging and meaningful educational experience of students. To that end, the implementation team has collaborated with prospective teachers of these courses to develop a summer in-service program consisting of FNESC workshops, resource development teams, as well as ongoing consultation and collaboration with the local Nations.
Implementation of the Indigenous-focused graduation course requirement, which for the North Vancouver School District will begin in September 2022, has received strong support from teachers and administrators at all secondary schools. This new requirement represents an important step towards reconciliation and responds to our commitments in the Action Plan for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and obligations of the BC Tripartite Education Agreement.
Communication to students and families on school-specific implementation plans has been undertaken by each secondary school. Questions regarding this requirement should be directed to the child's school.