Vancouver Foundation Grant for $246,000 Awarded to Four Directions Secondary School

Posted On Monday March 25, 2019

The Vancouver Foundation has awarded a $246,000 Systems Change Grant to the Four Directions Secondary School in School District No. 73.

Beginning in September 2019 the grant will fund an integrated school program enhancing Four Directions’ current commitment to community and family engagement over a three-year period.  The program, Community Led Learning - Trans-systemic Spaces in Indigenous Education, is designed to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing alongside western curriculum by involving family, elders and knowledge keepers.

"We congratulate Jordan Smith and Alexis Brown on the success of their proposal to the Vancouver Foundation,” said Alison Sidow, School District 73 Superintendent. “We are proud of their efforts, built on previous research, to create a vision for sustainable, systemic change. This grant will positively affect learning outcomes for Indigenous youth in our district and, ultimately, across the province.” 

The Community Led Learning program will provide opportunities and resources for cultural activities both within and outside the school schedule. The program activities will be delivered by Justin Young (Thunder Sky), Lead Facilitator. With his support students will give back to the community through volunteering, and participate in healthy recreational activities and experiential learning. Additionally, they will attend cultural workshops as a group and with their families, and connect and build relationships with community members and elders.

Smith, the Four Directions Secondary School program coordinator, and Brown, a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria, are the authors of the grant proposal. They drew on Brown’s previous research with Four Directions Secondary School, which indicated that authentic commitment to community and family engagement contributes to student success and enhances student learning in the school environment. 

When the program ends in three years it will be developed into a model for other school districts, in order to create a larger-scale systemic change for Indigenous students. 

The Vancouver Foundation Systems Change Grants support projectsthat take action on issues of equity and equality found within organizations and institutions, supports the well-being of those involved, and helps to create sustainable change.


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