Grande Yellowhead Public School Division is proud to collaborate with a number of partners to ensure that Indigenous perspectives are appropriately included in all programs of study offered in our schools. This collaboration is to assist our teachers in learning more about the history and the legacy of residential schools, the Treaties and the history of Indigenous peoples in order to better meet the needs of Aboriginal students. Many of our schools also offer a Cree and Michif program taught by certificated teacher, Ms. Sandra Davenport, who has been teaching Plains Cree ‘Y’ dialect for over 18 years in GYPSD. Wildwood School, Niton Central, Crescent Valley Elementary in Hinton, Pine Grove Middle School in Edson, and both Sheldon Coates School and Summitview School in Grande Cache, have all welcomed Miss Davenport to work with their students from Grades 2 to 8.
Originally from the historic Mêtis community of Ile-a-la Crosse, Saskatchewan, Sandra has called Edson home since 2002. She started sharing her knowledge of Northern Michif with students in GYPSD schools three years ago. This educational opportunity is key to keeping Michif alive and well. Language and culture are inextricably related. And you can't learn one without first knowing the other. Language is related to all features of human life in society. And comprehension of the surrounding culture is key to learning a language. The language also allows for the development and evolution of cultural values.