Each school in Abbotsford School District has an Indigenous Education Program funded with special funding from the Ministry of Education that is directly related to the number of Indigenous students in each school. In Abbotsford we have over 2,000 students identified by their parents as being of Indigenous(First Nations, Métis or Inuit) ancestry. Each year, parents are asked to sign a Consultation Form and return this to their school.
The goal of Indigenous education is to improve the success of Indigenous students; to support all students learning about Indigenous peoples and to help teachers in their efforts to infuse Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into the classroom. This commitment is outlined in the Enhancement Agreement.
Mámele’awt is a Halq’eméylem word that means “Children’s House”. Parents and Stό:lō Elders from Sumas First Nation asked Coqualeetza Cultural Education Centre to provide a name for the Indigenous programs in schools. The name reminds us to create a place where all children, First Nation, Métis, Inuit and Non-Indigenous children, feel safe and are treated with respect. The name was more than the “space” rather it indicated a way of thinking of support and respect. An important way we demonstrate this respect in our district is the Acknowledgement of the Indigenous Territory and our Commitment at meetings and events.
In Abbotsford, we also have the Community Indigenous Centre, located at 3277 Gladwin Road. This location includes offices for staff that facilitate programs in each of our schools, a Clothing Room, and The Ray and Millie Silver Library. We provide space for community partners from Stό:lō Nation and the Fraser Valley Métis Association. Check out our upcoming events and join us!
Our Logo by Ray Silver (Semá:th)
The raven is the trickster who takes the time to teach us what we need to know. A woman, (note the labret in her lower lip) is prominent because women are the holders of knowledge and keepers of the culture. The raven is protecting the woman by covering her with its wing so the culture remains safe. The design elements and shape reflect Stό:lō Art forms. The circular shape represents a spindle whorl. The raven’s talons in the middle of the design form the centre hole of the whorl. The spindle whorl references Coast Salish weaving, an important skill for Stό:lō men and women, which continues to be steeped in story and cultural traditions.