Students at the Foothills Composite High School are now able to learn about the history of local First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people.
Created by Cameron Campos and Charity Tegler, the course All My Relations is intended to give students knowledge, skills, and understanding to build reciprocal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. In doing so, they aim to advance Truth and Reconciliation in a local context.
This course is offered for grade 10-12 students, with each grade learning different aspects of Indigenous history, art, culture, and reconciliation.
In grade 10, students are able to take either the Metis History and Stories course or the Introduction to the Treaties and Sovereignty course.
Introduction to the Treaties and Sovereignty is a federal course available for all high schools across Canada.
This course teaches the history of First Nations before treaties were signed, including their governance structure, cultural practices, their way of life, the role of Elders, family, and the relationships they held with other nations.
The Metis History and Stories course, created by Campos and Tegler, focuses on the history, culture, and traditions of local First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities that are part of their landscape and territories.
In an informational packet about this course, it states “Students will begin to identify the unique teachings, history and stories that are foundational to each community’s way of knowing, being, and doing while beginning to identify how each Indigenous community and nation live in relationship and connection with one another and the land on which they reside. “
Once students have completed either the Metis History and Stories course or the Treaties and Sovereignty course, they are able to enroll in the Indigenous Art and Ceremony course.
In this course, students learn the importance of traditional, historical and contemporary art forms. This includes storytelling, ceremony, powwow and drumming, and visual and performing arts.
The final course that students can sign up for is the Pathways to Reconciliation course.
Throughout this course, students will learn about residential schools, intergenerational trauma, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the ’60s Scoop, the Millennial Scoop, living conditions on reserves (which include discussions about insufficient housing, schooling, and the lack of clean drinking water), land claims, self-governance, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and calls for action.
Out of this course, students will understand how current issues impact local Indigenous communities, and how these topics may impact relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
This course touches on a lot of sensitive topics, which may be triggering for some students.
There are school counselling supports, community-based supports by local Indigenous community members and Elders, and federal supports available for any student who wishes to access them.
Throughout the courses, students are taught by local Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and are often brought on field trips to help in the learning process.
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