Nuu-chah-Nulth Tribal Council hopes for resolution in SD70 court case

The NTC released a statement on Thursday following the revelation that a Port Alberni parent is taking School District 70 to court.

All cultures should be encouraged in the education system, but no student should feel pressured to participate in any one of them, says Deb Foxcroft, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.

The NTC released a statement on Thursday following the revelation that a Port Alberni parent is taking School District 70 to court, claiming her child was forced to participate in an Indigenous smudging or cleansing ceremony.

Candice Servatius filed a petition earlier in November with the BC Supreme Court saying her children were required to take part in what she says were religious practices at John Howitt Elementary School in September 2015.

She alleges there was also a second incident in January 2016 involving a First Nations prayer at an assembly.

According to the petition, Servatius claims school officials have refused to honour the School Act and the Charter of Rights provisions respecting religious neutrality.

Foxcroft said the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council is disappointed to learn that a resolution has not been found between the mother and the school district.

“While the NTC seeks to have Nuu-chah-nulth culture, in particular our language, alive and present throughout the schools in the district, we do not want any student or staff to feel pressured to participate in our culture,” Foxcroft noted in a prepared statement.

“Nuu-chah-nulth is not a religion. We are a group of Indigenous people who have been here on the West Coast of Vancouver Island since time immemorial. Our language and culture is what makes us unique.

“Although residential schools attempted to strip every piece of who we are and where we come from, our culture has survived. From songs, dances, artwork, regalia, ceremonies and much more, the act of “praying” is only a small sample of our culture, not our ‘religion’.

“It is important to encourage all cultures throughout our education system. With regard to Indigenous or First Nations culture, the practices of each individual First Nations are unique and many students in the district come from other First Nations.

“This incident could be a window of opportunity for SD 70 to share not only the culture of people whose territories the school reside on, but all Canadians and their distinct cultural backgrounds. Reconciliation is a two-way street which the Nuu-chah-nulth are committed to,” she said.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

 

Just Posted

Team Harrison prevails in Port Alberni men’s bonspiel

Annual bonspiel drew 20 teams from out of town

Wedding plans derailed following City of Port Alberni’s train announcement

Five wedding parties are scrambling to find alternate transportation arrangements to McLean… Continue reading

Kids help Alberni Aquarium build rockfish luminary for next exhibit

Swimming For Change takes over in time for spring break

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Mount Arrowsmith skaters get tips from Olympic athlete

Larkyn Austman visited Port Alberni for winter carnival

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

Credit card fraud steals $50,000 from Victoria businesses: police

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read