School District 27 will begin the application process to the Humans Right Tribunal that will allow the Board to give preferential hiring to people who self-identify as Aboriginal until such a time as the number hired identifying as Aboriginal is in proportion to the number of students who self-identify as Aboriginal.

The motion was unanimously approved by the Board Tuesday evening.

“Because of the truth and reconciliation piece that is going on across Canada, I think for us that’s a piece to tie into that,” says Superintendent of Schools Mark Winjes.

“To show that this is what we want to do as a District to have more Aboriginal people in front of students given that we’ve got 35% of our students, but we don’t think even close to that with the number of staff. By seeing that role model in front of them we’re┬áhoping that that might also assist in building the student achievement across the District.”

The process according to Wintjes could take a year to fall through depending on how quickly they come to an agreement with their union and then work with the Board should any policies need to change.

“We will begin those discussions with the union and will be seeking support letters from other stakeholders as well before we actually make the final submission,” he says.

It is not known at the moment how many teachers identify themselves as Aboriginal as Wintjes says the District currently has not asked them to self-identify.

“That would be part of this process to secure what kind of a number do we really have before making that application.”