Honouring Outstanding Efforts

Sherri-Lynne Pharand

On Thursday, December 13, the Lakehead Public Schools Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee (AEAC) will honour Superintendent Sherri-Lynne Pharand for her outstanding efforts on behalf of First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) students. A presentation of a Sacred Blanket Circle, which encompasses the entire FNMI curriculum, will occur during the regular scheduled AEAC meeting.

“AEAC members are very proud and pleased to have this special opportunity to recognize Superintendent Sherri-Lynne Pharand for her remarkable work and achievements in the name of FNMI education,” says Dolores Wawia, Co-Chair of the Lakehead Public Schools Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee. “For the past twelve years, she has worked tirelessly to put FNMI education on the map not only in the province of Ontario, but also in Canada.”

Throughout the past 12 years, significant advances have been made by Lakehead Public Schools with regard to FNMI education including and not limited to:

  • Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee (AEAC)
    • The mandate of the Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee is to advise the Board on matters relating to the education of FNMI students.
  • Lakehead Public Schools Elder’s Council
    • The Elder’s Council meets regularly to provide support/guidance on staff training and advice on matters related to the education of FNMI pupils.
  • Graduation Coaches
    • The Graduation Coaches in the Four Directions Program support First Nation, Metis and Inuit learners at the secondary level.
  • Aboriginal Achievement Tutors
    • The Aboriginal Achievement Tutors in every secondary school provide academic tutoring, a safe space, cultural opportunities and connections within the school and the community.
  • Mino Bimaadiziwin
    • Mino Bimaadiziwin, a summer camp in its third year for youth in grades 7, 8, 9 and 10, continues to be based on traditional cultural teachings and focuses on: key life skills, leadership development, healthy relationships, positive self-esteem, self-awareness and connections to education.
  • Ready 4 Secondary School
    • One week summer camp for Grade 8 FNMI youth entering secondary school in the fall to help them transition and get a jump start on their 40 hours of community service.
  • Aboriginal Parent/Guardian Advocacy Program
    • The program offers an advocate to help support student registration, navigation of the educational system, translation, transition to school, connection to community supports, assistance with school events, visits and participation in parent/teacher interviews and meetings.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
    • Lakehead Public Schools continues to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action by providing training and resources for staff helps to ensure all staff and students are aware of the true history of Canada. Training also helps staff to develop and understanding to better support students based on their learning needs.

“Our entire committee is very pleased to recognize the outstanding work of Superintendent Sherri-Lynne Pharand but we are also celebrating the vast and growing achievements of Lakehead Public Schools with regard to FNMI education, “says Wawia. “We know there is much more work to be done and we look forward to even further future opportunities to support FNMI students.”