FNMI Education

FNMI Coord
Darrell Willier – First Nation, Metis & Inuit Coordinator

The 2018-19 school year marks the beginning of a new era for Medicine Hat Public School Division (MHPSD). The retirement of our longtime First Nation, Inuit, Metis educator, Mrs. Deborah Lloyd led us on a far ranging search. We knew that this was going to be a crucial hire for our system, not only because we were replacing someone so experienced, but also because we knew it represented an opportunity to recommit to Alberta Education Outcome Two: Alberta’s education system supports First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students’ success.

In May of 2018, Darrell accepted this challenge and began the process of relocating from Northern Alberta, where he had 14 years of experience as the Peace Wapiti School Division First Nation, Metis, Inuit Coordinator.

To demonstrate our commitment to this outcome, MHPSD will be working with stakeholders in the Fall of 2018 to develop our strategic goal and 3 year plan for working to eliminate the systemic gaps in education for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students in Medicine Hat.

In the short term the plan will see Mr. Willier visiting many classrooms and staff rooms across our system to bring awareness about The Indian Act and Residential Schools. He will teach us about the Medicine Wheel and the Circle of Courage; and he will help us to understand the Myths and Facts of Treaty Status. Darrell will also work side-by-side with teachers to support them in instilling an indigenous voice into their planning.

Darrell has also begun the process of reaching out and connecting with our community partners at Miywasin and the Medicine Hat College and our zone partners across the south. His belief in positive role modeling will see a series of guest speakers visiting our schools over the next 3 years to instill a message of hope. J.L. LaRose, former CFL football player will be here in September to “kick this off”.

Darrell will also serve as a Family School Liaison support for our First Nation, Metis and Inuit students and will work alongside Kristi Lie and the rest of our Division’s mental health supports to reduce the systemic gaps for F.N.M.I students in both achievement and attendance.

Ultimately, our strategic goal will center around supporting Truth and Reconciliation. We look forward to working with all of our partners to realize this vision.

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