The K’ómoks First Nation and Comox Valley Schools (SD71) have signed a five-year Local Education Agreement to support student learning, specifically that of K’ómoks students.
The comprehensive document covers everything from parents and busing, to student learning needs and funding for First Nation students.
“It took about 18 hours of meetings to hammer through about a 45-page document,” SD71 assistant supt. Geoff Manning said.
A highlight of the agreement is the appointment of a K’ómoks success advisor — a teaching position aimed at helping students in terms of graduation rates, and proficiency in all areas.
“There’s been some historic things that have happened in education with Indigenous students,” said Charlene Everson, a KFN councillor who holds the education portfolio. “There’s been a long, long history, starting with residential schools.”
She said the LEA will provide assurance that K’ómoks students have a space within the education system where they can understand who they are, have a sense of themselves, and recognize they have an important part in the system.
“I think as well having the supports within the school district, and hammering that out in the agreement is really important,” Hegus (Chief) Nicole Rempel said. “I think that’s a value to our current generation and future generations under this LEA that provides that security and safety for them.”
Manning said the last signed agreement between the KFN and SD71 had ended in 2006.
“So it was really great to get this back on,” he said.