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2023 02 21 | Host: Bev Rundell | Dave Lafontaine District VP Indigenous Education

Bev Rundell, long-standing Rotarian and retired Superintendent of School District 22 hosted Dave Lafontaine, VP of Indigenous Education for SD22.

Dave presented the club with a thought-provoking update on the activities occuring within SD22 all in an effort to build greater relationships, collaboration, and community between the various indigenous communities in the north Okanagan, the schools & educators in the District, and the community at large. Specific topics included:

  1. Recognition of syilx Okanagan territory and importance of the land on which we live, play, and grow
  2. the new SD22 logo and branding and its intent to be multi-cultural, and have valuable meaning to all stakeholders
  3. Review of Indigenous student representation throughout the District
  4. Goals of department
  5. Importance of First Nations languages and cultures not only for members of the indigenous communities, but all of us
  6. And the new initiative that all graduates from 2022-2023 onward will be required to have four credits of Indigenous courses
  7. Bev Rundell (left) and Dave LaFontaine

Many members had questions and comments, all exhibiting the VSSRotary's desire to participate and support the building of stronger relationships amongst all people of the north Okanagan.

Dave ended by agreeing to help host a field trip for the club to one or more locations of specific activities related to indigenous students, such as the canoe carving project or visiting the language & cultural school on Westside Road in the Okanagan Indian Band community.