School District 54 (SD 54) has unveiled a new logo featuring Witsuwit’en artwork, along with their strategic draft plan that will determine the plan for the school district for the next four years.
The new logo features more intricate Witsuwit’en artwork by artist Jolene Andrew who is from the Likhsilyu Clan.
SD 54 Superintendent Mike McDiarmid had earlier told Houston Today that the logo revitalization was part of the strategic plan that involved meeting certain goals when it came to Indigenous students.
“In the strategic plan, there are some goals there — a goal for more knowledge about the Witsuwit’en culture in our school and language and a real focus on increasing graduation rates for Indigenous students, so as a part of those discussions, the board thought that we have a feather in the logo, could we have more of a Witsuwit’en flavor to it,” he said.
The Strategic Draft Plan was released on the school district’s website last week by the board for a month-long feedback period. The process to come up with a plan began last year in October which involved community consultation, student feedback and inputs, open houses and consultation with the Indigenous Education Council, as well as inputs from parents and teachers. There were two student sessions one from Houston Secondary School and the other one from Smithers Secondary where the students showed up voluntarily to provide their input on the board’s strategic plan. The board also had an online community survey.
“That’s really a four year plan for the entire school district. We are quite pleased for it to be ready to go in draft form. We will send it out for consultation for about a month before it is formally adopted,” said McDiarmid.
The plan lays out several goals such as increasing graduation and success rates for all learners, supporting all students to achieve optimal physical and mental wellness, increasing community involvement for students, increasing graduation and success rates for Indigenous learners, increasing Indigenous Culture and the presence of Witsuwit’en language in all schools, particularly Secondary Schools, supporting everyone in the school community to increase their knowledge of and value for Indigenous worldviews and perspectives.
Apart from these learning goals, the plan also has several operational goals such as providing more modern, updated learning spaces, promoting and supporting outdoor experiential learning programs, etc.
The goal was to finalize and adopt the strategic plan by June however, due to Covid, the timeline for the entire plan shifted substantially. The board is now looking at finalizing the plan in November this year.