The Holy Family School Division has purchased the “4 Seasons of Reconciliation” program, an online set of modules that can be used by students, staff and trustees.
Terry Jordens, Holy Family’s superintendent of student services, gave a presentation on the program, including showing how to access it online, showing a brief video introduction on the program.
The program is a professional development course developed in collaboration with the First Nations University of Canada, with the purpose of improving relations between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.
There are 10 modules that people can take at their own pace, with slide shows, videos and quizzes.
Jordens noted that Holy Family has purchased a two-year subscription to the program at a cost of just under $4,000, with a subsidy of $500 to help offset the cost.
“We will use it with all staff in the next two years,” she said. “Everybody gets their own log-in and username.”
There is a lot of Saskatchewan content in the program, which also features information and videos from First Nations peoples right across Canada.
There are many topics covered in the modules of the history of First Nations people, from before white people arrived to the current day, including the issues that indigenous people are dealing with now.
“You can work through it at your own pace. We found it to be very professional and well-done,” said Jordens.
Asked if staff can use the program in the classroom with their students, she replied, “Absolutely.”
“It’s very relevant right now,” added education director Gwen Keith, pointing out, “the Saskatchewan piece is quite rich.”
There are certificates available to those who complete all 10 modules in the next two years.
“I don’t want to scare anyone off. It’s your choice how deep you want to go with it,” added Jordens.
Trustee Kate Maclean from Wilcox said every teacher she knows who has taken the program has advocated for its use.