The second annual Indigenous Perspectives Conference took place Friday at Red Deer College.
More than 100 students, mostly in their 3rd or 4th year of RDC’s Education program, took in several keynote speeches and participated in break-out sessions. The theme revolved around how literature, literacy and the arts can be learning tools for Indigenous education.
Brent Galloway, Education program instructor, explains how the conference prepares the future teachers in attendance for their careers.
“Our focus is part of a new teaching standard announced this week which says all teachers in Alberta need to apply foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures to the benefit of all (their) students,” he says.
Education Minister David Eggen made the announcement this week that $8 million would be spent on introducing these standards. They are expected to come into effect by September 2019.
Galloway noted the conference began Thursday night with a showing of The Secret Path, the film adaptation of Gord Downie’s 2016 album.
“The conference really is about creating understanding and appreciation first through truth, and then helping the leaders help others understand and appreciate how to be aware,” said Galloway. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has put education as one of the most important parts to help learn as a country and in our country right now, only 40 per cent know what the TRC is.”
Teachers and anyone working with children have a big role in achieving that, he adds.
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