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Working Together for Mi’gmaw Education Standards

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

The Listuguj Education, Training & Employment (LETE) has initiated work to develop Mi’gmaw Education Standards. LETE’s goal is to create standards for education that meet the aspirations, changing needs, and priorities of learners, educators, and community members of Listuguj. This fall, LETE staff facilitated a total of six (6) sessions with educators, involving 84 participants.

These sessions will continue over the winter and spring of 2022. LETE will meet with educators, other LETE staff, as well as community members of Listuguj. The Mi’gmaw Education Standards project is part of LETE governance and the ongoing transformation in education.

[At school] it is important to foster independence, giving students space to make decisions on their own, so that they fall in love with the process of learning (lifelong learners),” AGS Educator (Fall 2021), when talking about taking a strength-based approach.

Drawing by AGS student Jada Mitchell when she was in Ms. Mandy Belliveau’s Grade 6 French Immersion class. In her write up, Jada observed: “I don’t like anything to be added. The way the school is just fine. I would like an art class. I think they would like that.” In March of 2021, all students at AGS were asked to draw or write about ‘Ta’n Goqwei Mawigsatm Etlgina’masi ula Alaqsite’w Gitpu Gina’muo’guom’/What I Like Best About Being a Student at AGS’.

LETE’s Approach

LETE is taking a ‘relational approach’ to co-create Mi’gmaw Education Standards. We are using several methods to hear from learners, educators, and community. For example, we have conducted surveys; we heard from AGS students; and we are facilitating sessions. LETE also conducted a literature review to find out what other Indigenous nations are doing to reclaim and strengthen education.

Why is there a need for Mi’gmaw education standards?

There is a need for Mi’gmaw Education Standards to make certain that education and training is rooted in Mi’gmaq values, beliefs, knowledges (connections with land, with family), and language. This work is part of shedding light on the difficult history where schools (Indian Residential and Day Schools) were used for assimilation of Indigenous Peoples and the elimination of Indigenous languages and knowledges.

What is LETE doing?

LETE is introducing, and gathering feedback on, standards that reflect the positive changes already happening in education. The standards are not yet complete. We look forward to collectively identifying standards that we will value and uphold for Mi’gmaq of Listuguj as part of lifelong learning.

“Informal, everyday moments can be great ways to build relationships: take those little moments, standing in line, recess, in the hallway, to stop and talk with students,” AGS Educator (Fall 2021), when talking about building authentic educator-learner relationships.

“Help students build relationships with one another (e.g., cooking activity): when the students collaborate and get along, it is easier for educators to also build relationships with them,” AGS Educator (Fall 2021), when talking about building authentic educator-learner relationships.

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