My name is Candida Shepherd and I’m a member of the Metis Nation of Alberta Region 4. I am a teacher and a First Nations, Metis, Inuit Lead at Bev Facey Community High School. I am a long-time member of Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples. It is my pleasure to share my culture and to share my journey as a knowledge-seeker.
Bev Facey’s Journey to an Indigenized school culture…
I am so grateful for the opportunity to acknowledge this journey here on treaty 6 territory - the traditional lands of the First Nations, Metis and intuit. We are all treaty people.
Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commision, Bev Facey CHS has embarked on a path of listening and learning. How do we restore the Indigenous presence in Canada - but also within our community?
There has been a recognition that it would take time to build long lasting relationships and truly understand what our cultural processes and understandings mean to our Indigenous people. With the guidance from our Elder in Residence, Wilson Bearhead and many knowledge keepers and seekers, there has been a commitment to the responsibility to protect these knowledges and to ensure newcomers treat the knowledge with respect when it is shared.
In 2016, Bev Facey began the process of creating an ethical space within the building. This required a willingness to trust the indigenous process and to dedicate valuable classroom space. Both did not come easily, at times.
Our Indigenous footprint has spread throughout the school in many ways. However, I am the proudest of our Culture Room. It is situated in the heart of the school, visited by many staff and students on a daily basis. It is a place where the sacred Seven Teachings are at the center of how we share with each other so that all our interactions can happen in a good way.
I am grateful to the Creator for the opportunity to be involved in this journey. And to the various administrators, Paul Pallister, Barclay Spady and now, Ken Wlos for their willingness to listen. And most especially the Elders and supporters who guided with good intentions.
TOUR OUR CULTURAL ROOM BY CLICKING HERE