I am writing you today in response to comments made by one of our school Trustees at the May 18, 2021 North Vancouver Board of Education Public Board Meeting that are unacceptable, highly inappropriate and insensitive, and left those in attendance feeling hurt and troubled.
The North Vancouver School District is committed to our shared values of creating learning environments where all staff and students feel welcome, safe, included, understood and appreciated. As a District, we recognize we learn from our collective actions, and we address and acknowledge them when we fall short.
The Trustee is deeply remorseful for their choice of words and will offer a public apology at the June 22, 2021 Public Board Meeting. The Board of Education, on behalf of the North Vancouver School District, has written to the Chiefs and Councils of the Skwxwú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh and Métis Nations of British Columbia, and has offered its most sincere apology for the incident. This apology is offered to the Nations’ members and the Indigenous students, educators, and staff who contribute so much to our school district community. You can read the full letter HERE.
In the letter, the Board has also reaffirmed the District’s commitment to strengthening relations with Indigenous rights holders and community members, and has respectfully asked for their continued guidance, support, and patience as we learn from this incident and move forward with courage.
We are proud of the relationship we have developed with Indigenous rights holders and community members, and we highly value and rely on this relationship as we continue on our journey of truth and reconciliation. We also acknowledge we have much work to do. Therefore, today, and during Anti-Racism Awareness Week, I ask all of you to join me as we recommit to continuing our journey toward truth, healing and reconciliation so together, we do better and provide more for every member of the North Vancouver School District community.
Superintendent, North Vancouver School District