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Quesnel Celebrates National Aboriginal Day

National Aboriginal Day is being celebrated across the country today, including at the Helen Dixon Centre in Quesnel.

Numerous tents were set up, there was plenty of food, artifacts on display and entertainment on the stage.

Thousands of people took part throughout the day, many of them students from School District 28.

Patty Kimpton is the Principal of Aboriginal Education in the District…

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“Schools have always been a part of Aboriginal Day. It’s one of those ways that we can bring all of our communities together and highlight the beautiful parts of the indigenous cultures so its something that we plan for all year. Aboriginal Education provides busing for all of the schools.”

Kimpton says close to a thousand students took part this year.

She says it fits in nicely with the curriculum changes in BC that now include indigenous studies.

“School District 28 has been working with the First Nations Education Steering Committee put out an Indian residential school and reconciliation curriculum so we’ve been using that in our grades 4,5, 10 and 11 programs in the last two years so we are working hard to share the story of the indigenous people of Canada.”

Kimpton says their goal is to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and that we have a balanced and equitable system where indigenous kids are as successful or more successful than their counterparts.

She says right now about 77 percent of aboriginal students graduate, which is much higher than the National rate, but still lower than the 83 percent of non-aboriginal students that graduate in the District.

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