The Lambton Kent District School Board's Native Advisory Committee was reconstituted in 2007, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education's release of the First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Education Framework. The committee was renamed the Indigenous Liaison Committee in 2017.
Who Are We?
Representatives from First Nation partner communities: (links out to respective web sites)
Aamjiwnaang First Nation
Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
Walpole Island First Nation (Bkejwanong)
Two Trustees representatives, one of whom is the First Nation Trustee
Superintendent of Education with responsibility for First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Education
Indigenous Liaison plus additional Board staff directly supporting Indigenous Education
Principal and Vice-Principal representatives from schools directly serving First Nation communities and others with an active interest
Other individuals with an active interest in support Indigenous Education
The Role of the Indigenous Liaison Committee is to:
Ensure a full partnership in setting priorities, determining goals, identifying strategies, and monitoring progress toward improving outcomes for Indigenous students
Work in collaboration to shape planning, strategies, and supports to meet identified priorities for students, staff, and community members
Make recommendations to the Board regarding programs and services for Indigenous students
Support an increase in all students' and staff knowledge, awareness, understanding, and appreciation of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit people, their histories, cultures, and languages
The Indigenous Liaison Committee meets monthly with the exception of December and March. Meetings are hosted on a rotating basis among the four First Nation communities and local schools. The meetings are open and the public is welcome.
Two key factors shaped the early work of the committee and the evolving relationships of its partners. One was the Ministry's release of the First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Education Framework which set out the goals of a province-wide initiative to improve outcomes for students in ways that aligned with the Ministry's overall goals. This guideline identified points of discussion and helped determine the committee's first priorities for the investment of available resources.
Even more important though, was the need to create a shared space within which it would become safe to have frank conversations about the reality of school for Indigenous students and the kinds of things that needed to happen or happen differently for them. Growing trust within the relationships that allowed open and honest dialogue to occur was the precursor to success in implementing the guideline, but also provided the basis upon which other aspects of the Board's partnerships with First Nations could grow. This was particularly true for the negotiation of Education Service (Tuition) Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that more precisely delineated the Board and First Nation responsibilities and accountabilities in this partnership. It also provided for greater confidence among all parties in addressing situations of mutual concern.