Leading to Learn

A Capacity Building Model for Principals

Speakers: Terry Johanson and Ken Oakanee

The goal Terry and Ken have is to encourage learning about indigenous peoples in the classroom. It is to work towards increasing graduation rates to indigenous students in Saskatchewan also by ensuring a safe and inclusive learning environment. They believe there is a need to address issues that First Nations, Inuit and Metis students face. It’s believed that Principals are key change agents in schools so they created a system that would help the principals in different schools to address indigenous topics.  I agree that there is a need to fix the education gap about the issues faced by indigenous students and issues that are uprising in our own schools and communities.

During the presentation they also had a part where they made viewers get into groups of three and sit closer to the two note pads that were set up at the front.  They asked them to view the handouts and ask the members of the group what they Notice and what they Wonder. The handouts went in depth as a guide to learning how to make school approaching to indigenous students and what to do to create change around Saskatchewan.  The viewers in the notice section pointed out that every student brings different perspective to the classroom and that boards already have this in place but could be supported by this organization. The Wonder section was filled with questions about how this will actually work. It is a very ambitious project for over 2000 people but they are doing it to influence in making change. This project depends on urgency of when principals want to do this.  This will make the school more diverse and allow more open discussion on indigenous perspective. In other words, “This encourages different paths leading to the same destination’” as Terry said.  Explaining that every student is different and it will take various steps to move forward in the school system to achieve the goal of being inclusive or diverse.