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Indigenous Education

Acknowledgement of Territory and of Indigenous Rightsholders

The Indigenous Education Department (IED) of the Coast Mountains School District humbly recognizes that our district resides as guests on the ancestral, unceded territories of the Gitxsan, Haisla, Nisga’a, and Ts’msyen Peoples.  We honor their ancestral histories, rich cultures and diverse communities that are rooted in these lands, which have sustained their peoples for countless generations. With deep appreciation, we honor the wisdom of their ancestors, revered elders, and knowledge holders who embody resilience and uphold traditions based on reciprocity, responsibility, respect, and profound interconnectedness. These principles serve as our compass as we humbly navigate and learn our role in contributing to reconciliation. We also acknowledge that we are in service to Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) from diverse nations and communities who are also guests on traditional lands and who have made these communities their home. This acknowledgment signifies our unwavering commitment to reconciliation and to fostering nourishing and transformative relationships that will positively impact the next generations of Indigenous children and youth.

Achieving transformation and improving Indigenous learner success requires collective responsibility among all Indigenous rights holders and education stakeholders. It demands sustained attention and collective effort to navigate the future for generations of Indigenous children and youth. This journey necessitates responsive, responsible, and respectful approaches that address the needs of Indigenous learners in a reciprocal and relational manner.  Everyone is responsible for tending to this work as if it were a ceremonial fire, to keep it burning, this sacred work must be embraced by all.

Indigenous Learners


Our IED provides programs and services to support the success of all Indigenous learners. Self-Identification of Indigenous Ancestry (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit): Indigenous ancestry is determined on a voluntary basis through self-identification. Status cards, Métis citizenship cards, etc. are NOT required. In addition to school and district supports and services available to ALL learners of any ancestry, Indigenous learners received enhanced services provided by the IED. As required by the Ministry of Education, IED staff must consult with caregivers each year in order to participate in enhanced programs, services and support, delivered by IED staff.


In 2022/23 school year, of the total 2076 identified Indigenous learners, there are 1967 learners receiving enhanced support from the IED. These learners self-identified as First Nations (status and non-status), Metis and Inuit, and make up approximately 48% of the overall learner population of the school district. Currently, 577 Indigenous learners are nominal roll learners, meaning they are status First Nations residing within the various reserves. 

Indigenous Education Department Staff

Director of Instruction – Indigenous Education
Robert Clifton

District Vice-Principal – Indigenous Education
Beverly Azak

Executive Assistant – Indigenous Education
Lindsay Harder

Indigenous Education Cultural Coordinator (IECC)

Indigenous Education Outreach Worker (IEOW) (Itinerant - CMSD)
Tammy Bulleid

Indigenous Education Teacher Mentor (IETM) (Itinerant -CMSD)
Anna Ashley

Indigenous Education Language & Culture Teacher (Itinerant – Terrace/Thornhill)

Lisa Seymour - (Terrace/Thornhill – All Schools)

Indigenous Education Cultural Mentor (IECM) (Itinerant CMSD)

*over the 2024/2025 school year the IED will add additional positions for IEOW’s, IETM’s, IECM’s for targeted and dedicated service to Hazeltons/Kitwanga/Stewart and Kitimat and the current itinerant positions will redirect focus on Terrace/Thornhill.

Indigenous Education Department School Staff 

Indigenous Language & Culture Teachers
*In 2024/25, these positions will be transitioning to being funded by the core budget and will not be funded out of targeted 131 funding.

Gwen Simms (Hazelton – MGA)
TBA (Hazelton – New Hazelton Elementary)
TBA – (Kitimat – Nechako & Kildala Elementary)

Indigenous Support Workers (ISW)
Enhanced academic, cultural, social-emotional support for Indigenous students following Ministry audit requirements; reporting support and service to Indigenous students using the Indigenous Services Reporting system; offer school-based cultural enrichment for Indigenous students; support transition success including student celebrations; monitoring attendance and academic progress; and supporting school-based initiatives/opportunities for Indigenous students at lunch or afterschool; ; collaborating with the District Indigenous Education Outreach Worker (IEOW) to provide additional support to Indigenous learners with complex needs.


Indigenous Youth Support Workers (IYW)
Targeted support for students with complex barriers contributing to disengagement from school; reporting support and service to Indigenous students using the Indigenous Services Reporting system; collaborates with ISW’s to contribute to wrap-around care of Indigenous learners; individual/group interventions aimed at reducing high-risk behaviours; collaborating with the District Indigenous Education Outreach Worker (IEOW) to re-engage Indigenous learners with schools which includes family outreach & support.


How Are We Doing? Report

The How Are We Doing? Report is an annual provincial publication that highlights key metrics of success for Indigenous learners across the Coast Mountains School District. Some of the same measures are used to measure progress as it relates to the implementation of the strategic plan 'Engage, Ignite, Empower 2022-27'. 


2022-23 How Are We Doing? Report - Coast Mountains School District (No. 82)