Indigenous Education Department
Education is important and always has been for Aboriginal peoples. Education meant survival in the past and this still applies today. As the Elders say, "Words are for your mind as food is for your body." (Shared Learnings, pg. 102)
At Bayside Middle School First Nations students comprise 10% of our population. We are proud of the richness the First Nations culture offers to the mosaic of our school and the gifts it offers all of our students.
School and Community - Working Together
Bayside Middle School has made working together with local First Nations Communitites and their organizations a priority. The educational staff at Bayside work hard to understand First Nations culture and traditions, while treating it with respect as well as sensitivity. The school team ... teachers, psychologists, youth workers, teaching assistants and the administration realize First Nations students are often required to live in two worlds. School personnel operate as a team with First Nations families, individuals, and/or organizations to support these children's identities as well as their academics.
SENCOTEN is the local First Nations language of the Saanich People. This language program was offered at Bayside Middle School beginning in September 1999. Students are enrolled in 2 blocks of instruction per week. The program emphasizes the cultural component to increase understanding, awareness, appreciation and participation.
Since 1996, National Aboriginal Day has been held on June 21, the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. (Shared Learnings, pg.68)