First Nations, Métis & Inuit

âcimowin, Kitachimowinaw, Our Story (Newsletter)

September 2021

In this month's edition:

Upcoming Events and Important Dates

  • Youth Leadership Forum on Reconciliation | Deadline to register October 3
  • Strathcona County Family and Community Services Invitation

Direct Student Support

  • Métis Nation of Alberta Gear up for School Program
  • Jordan’s Principle

Resources of Interest

  • Edmonton Indigenous Relations Bulletin
  • Indigenous Art Adventures
  • Virtual Family Gatherings

Jeremy Albert

Jeremy, of Cree/French/Irish ancestry, is a proud member of the Sweetgrass First Nation located in Treaty 6 Territory. He currently works as an Advisor with the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education team where he supports staff and students.

Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta and has spent time teaching and working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from across Alberta. Jeremy is a Cree language learner and this has played a large role in his own process of reconciliation and decolonization.

“The work we do is all about the young people,” said Albert. “We want to prepare the next generation for the challenges they might face in the future, we want them to be able to take the teachings we share and use them to make the world a better place for everyone.”

His goal is to ensure that young, Indigenous students are able to see themselves reflected in the school system, and that non-Indigenous students can gain a more complete perspective of the stories, cultures and histories that make up the other half of the shared treaty relationship.

“I’m a Cree language learner myself, and I think it’s important to incorporate each territory’s traditional language into our teachings," Albert explained. "While I’m not from the Elk Island region, I want to work to connect schools with local knowledge-holders, to learn more about our interactions with this land and its animals, plants and medicines.”

Cheryl Devin

Cheryl Devin
Cheryl is a proud Métis woman. Her family comes from across the Métis homeland including Fort Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Andrew. She also has family at Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement. She attended many EIPS schools, including Chipman, Fort Saskatchewan, Lamont and Mundare. Cheryl was one three ATA consultants supporting school divisions on Treaty 6 territory.

Cheryl officially joined the Elk Island Public Schools team in 2018 and has been leading us in teacher professional development, creating ethical space for students and families, and inspiring Truth and Reconciliation initiatives Division-wide ever since. 

Jeremy and Cheryl work closely with school leads at all schools across the Division to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit education and ongoing truth and reconciliation work throughout EIPS. 

Harlee McArthur

Harlee McArthur
Harlee is of Cree/Nakoda/Scottish and Irish ancestry. She is a proud member of White Bear First Nation in Treaty 4 territory. Harlee has a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a major in Addictions Counselling. She's had the privilege of working alongside and learning from various nations across western Canada. Harlee is passionate about working with youth and their families to help them reach their goals.

Jeremy, Cheryl and Harlee work closely with school leads at all schools across the Division to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit education and ongoing truth and reconciliation work throughout EIPS. 

Grade 5 Blanket Exercise

In 1996, the Aboriginal Rights Coalition worked with Indigenous elders and teachers to develop an interactive way of learning the Indigenous history most Canadians are never taught. The Blanket Exercise was the result; it has since been offered thousands of times and the fourth edition was released in 2016.

How it works

The Blanket Exercise is based on participatory education methodology and the goal is to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Everyone is actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples.