At the October 10th Regular Board Meeting, the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD) Board of Trustees unanimously voted to eliminate the use of the acronym FNMI. The full version First Nations, Métis and Inuit will now be used across the division. This motion was created keeping in spirit with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“I am very pleased to see this motion passed by the Board. Taking the time to speak and write out the acronym respects the Peoples that are being identified. For too long, Indigenous peoples have been thrown in the same ‘pot,’“ said former Vice Chair Dianne Arcand-Lavoie, who made the motion. “As an outgoing Trustee, I am very pleased that this small, yet significant change, will be in place as I leave my role in the division. I believe this motion will be very significant for the First Nations, Métis and Inuit stakeholders in HFCRD communities.”
The Alberta School Boards Association Board of Directors have put forward a motion that is very similar to that of HFCRD. HFCRD is pleased to see this initiative be addressed province-wide as together we take steps toward reconciliation.
This initiative is one of many that the HFCRD has implemented to support the First Nations, Métis and Inuit population. All Schools have a First Nations, Métis and Inuit Coordinator. These key staff members are tasked to infuse Indigenous cultures within their schools. In November 2016, the Board of Trustees voted to approve Policy 19: Acknowledging Territories of Indigenous Communities within Division Events, which states that the traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people will be acknowledged at the beginning of every public event or public meeting hosted by the division. In 2016, HFCRD hired a Cree teacher at St. Stephen’s School in Valleyview. In September 2017, that position became a part-time Cree teacher and a part-time division-wide First Nations Métis and Inuit Education Coordinator position responsible for the infusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit history and cultures into the school cultures and the curriculum.