Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education


Kamloops School District No. 73 is located within the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people and includes the seven Secwepemc First Nations Bands:

  • Tk’emlups te Secwepemc
  • Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band
  • Skeetchestn Indian Band
  • Simpcw First Nation
  • Adams Lake Indian Band
  • Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band
  • Neskonlith Indian Band

The District provides educational services to a diverse multicultural population of approximately 14,500 students, approximately 15 per cent of which are of Aboriginal ancestry. The Aboriginal student population in the District continues to increase.

The District and representatives of participating First Nations Bands work in partnership to ensure that a Local Education Agreement (LEA) is implemented, monitored, revised as necessary. The committee also makes recommendations or decisions regarding programs and supports for students living on-reserve.

Enhancement Funds are provided to the District to support all self-identified Aboriginal students of First Nations, Inuit and Métis ancestry in the areas of achievement, language and culture. The Aboriginal Education Council and the District work collaboratively to ensure that the expenditure of targeted funds is in line with the criteria set out by the Aboriginal Education Enhancements Branch, Ministry of Education.


Acknowledging the territory is performed at any important function such as a school assembly, awards night, graduation, a celebration including Aboriginal communities, etc. It may also be performed prior to an important meeting or presentation.  Acknowledging the territory is a way of honouring and showing respect for a group of people who have been living and working on this land from time immemorial. A “Welcome” to the territory is only offered by the First Nations people who are traditionally from the territory. Visitors, including everyone who is not a member of the traditional First Nation, would “acknowledge” the territory.

Acknowledging Traditional Territory

Protocols for Elder and Traditional Knowledge Keepers

Smudging Protocol


Aboriginal Education Resources Website


 Aboriginal Family Counselor (AFC) Program Annual Reports
 Annual Report on Aboriginal Students


 Aboriginal Girls Groups in School District 73
PDF of the Girls Group manual
 Fourth Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement
The signed agreement
A Handbook for Parents of Aboriginal Students in SD73
Link to a PDF file of the handbook
 Scholarships and Bursaries for Aboriginal Students in SD73
Information about Bursaries and Scholarships for aboriginal students can be found here.

Aboriginal Education Class of 2020 Grad Video


Aboriginal Education Class of 2020 Valedictorian Grace Payne and Satinka Manuel

Grace Payne

My education experience has been quite positive and continues to present me with opportunities to strive for higher knowledge. Generally speaking, my experiences have improved with each grade. As I age, the more open and excited I feel about learning and am happy to find people to share it with. Having attended high school in two different cities, as well as having done distance learning, I can truly appreciate the power of a great education under the right guidance and support.

I find inspiration not so much in the great moments of high school, but in those where grit and perseverance are essential. I am most inspired by teachers and students who are kind and encourage creativity and a pursuit of passion. Inspiring moments that stand out to me are grounded in writing and the presentation of personal short stories and poetry. There is something honest and vulnerable in writing and the presentation of ideas; I often come out of these classes feeling the most inspired. 

My hope for the future is that wherever I end up, I am pursuing my passion and am pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Through travel and education experiences, I’ve learned that growth happens in our most difficult and vulnerable moments. In the fall, I plan to attend UBC for a Bachelor of Arts in the Media Studies stream of the Co-ordinated Arts Program, with a goal of pursuing journalism, writing, or film production. I intend to continue my passions of competitive Highland dance, and CrossFit.

My message to my fellow grads is to pursue your passion. In a world of ever-changing ideals, being true to oneself is difficult, but can act as an anchor to truth and allows the best chance of building genuine connections with the people around you.

A favourite quote of mine would be the title of George Harrison’s first solo album “All Things Must Pass”. The quote reminds me that change is the only constant, and however extensive the struggle you may face, in time, with sacrifice and growth, it will pass. Each person will feel the highs and lows of life, but in recognizing their impermanence, can ground themselves and inspire peace in their lives.

“All things must pass.”

               – George Harrison

Satinka Manuel

My experience at SD73 was full of ups and downs but I will always cherish my friendships I’ve made along the way, the countless memories, and playing soccer. 

A moment of inspiration for me would be in Grade 11 History class with Mr. Humphrey. We got the assignment to do a presentation on a First Nations person that is succeeding in life or is a role model for you. It was wonderful to see the different Indigenous people succeeding in their own way. For my project I did my big sister Nikki Fraser. Nikki has made it her goal to spread awareness about the safety for Aboriginal women by participating in many meetings, conferences, interviews, and gatherings around the world. 

My plans for the future are to go to TRU for a Bachelor of arts, and perhaps become a teacher, or counsellor. I’ve had amazing teachers throughout my education that have helped push me and guide me to where I am today so I would love to do the same one day. 

My advice to my fellow grads would be despite how hard things might seem, or if you are feeling down, keep striving to get where you want to be. I encourage you to set high goals for yourself because you are capable of way more than you think you are. 

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

                                       - Mahatma Gandhi

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