As we move towards reconciliation and decolonization in education, it is essential that all parts of the education system reflect our commitment to incorporate different ways of knowing and being in curriculum and instruction. The creation of a social-emotional learning framework and Indigenous knowledge informed curriculum is an excellent step in honouring this commitment towards building understanding, empathy, respect, and inclusion for all students.
Indigenous teachings highlight that there are many paths to understanding and knowledge. As such, this framework is not targeted solely at students of Indigenous heritage. This framework references traditional teachings to include the perspectives of students of all nations. Currently, many of our youth are experiencing disengagement and isolation from their elders and peers. It is the goal of this framework to bring these youth back into the circle of connectedness and caring school communities.
Educators will be provided with a framework and example lessons that will help students to develop skills and strategies for self-regulation, mindful awareness, positive self concept and relationship skills.
Holly Vivier M.Ed. is a recent new comer to Vancouver Island and the Saanich School District. She is an SEL specialist and an Indigenous Literacy Support Teacher at KELSET Elementary. Holly has a passion for helping students and teachers to build safe culturally inclusive classrooms that focus on well being, community and self-regulation.