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Report highlights lack of Indigenous representation in Winnipeg’s school system


A new report from the Winnipeg Indigenous Executive Circle (WIEC) is highlighting the lack of Indigenous representation within school boards, staff, and faculties of education.

On Wednesday, the WIEC released its second annual ‘State of Equity in Education Report.’

Heather McCormick, the WIEC’s education committee chair, said the goal of the report is “to promote evidence-based strategies for the development and implementation of equity-based education programs and policies in Winnipeg.”

“The focus of this report is to look at concrete strategies and achievable goals that we can work with, with our stakeholders to change the level of representation that’s seen,” she said.

The report found that of the 54 school trustees in the city, only five identify as Indigenous.

It determined that there is an underrepresentation of 600 to 700 Indigenous teachers in Winnipeg schools, and that each year, on average, for the past two decades there have been 35 Indigenous Bachelor of Education graduates between the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg.

The WIEC notes that at this rate it will take nearly 20 years to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous teachers in Winnipeg.

At a news conference on Wednesday, the WIEC said some of the most important work the group does has to do with the issue of Indigenous people and education.

“A key pillar to any resiliency model is the ability to highlight and showcase role models,” said former MLA Kevin Chief at the news conference, noting that teachers are role models for many young people.

Chief said he wants people to know that no matter their hardship or challenges, they can always make a difference.

“Education has always been the most effective way to be able to do it,” he said.

“For us to be able to provide the supports for an army of ambassadors that want to be teachers and then getting them into the classrooms, we just cannot understand the ripple effects that it's going to create for so many other students, for so many other families.”

Chief said with this report they are building momentum and removing barriers for young people who want to be teachers.

The full report can be found online. Top Stories

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