Secwepemc Cultural Education Society - Core Programs and Projects

Core Programs and Projects

Language Department

The SCES Language Department was established to preserve and promote Secwepemctsin through a variety of projects and programs. Over the last year, the Language Department has worked on the following projects:

  • Formalization of the Secwepemc Language Authority;
  • Completed an advanced grade 11-12 curriculum for School District #73;
  • Completed the digitization of all language resources;
  • Recorded fluent speakers, used audio files to complement existing written resources;
  • Developed stories with illustrations and sound files for Salish Storyteller Software;
  • Developed a Parent Child handbook with corresponding audio cd and a fishing book;
  • Developed role model posters of fluent speakers by areas;
  • Staff attended several language conferences and training workshops;
  • Made language podcasts for the new SCES website.

Adult Education Department

The purpose of the Adult Education Program is to enable learners to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote self-reliance and cultural pride, ultimately leading to employment or entrance to post-secondary institutes. Over the last year, the following has occurred with the Adult Education Department:

  • Provided evening courses for the winter 2010 semester;
  • Students have graduate with meaningful employment skills and prerequisites necessary for university;
  • Six students received BC Dogwood Certificates;
  • Five students graduated from the University College Entrance Preparation (UCEP) program;
  • Three students graduated from the Secwepemc Adult General Education (SAGE) II program and will be returning the following academic year; and
  • Ten part-time students completed their courses.

Aboriginal Adult Industry Training (AAIT)

The AAIT program has offered the following this year:

  • A Level 1 Residential Building Maintenance Worker (RBMW) class that was completed on March 5, 2010. The students were able to combine their cultural art skills with the wood working component of the program. All four students completed the Level 1 program.
  • During March, the AAIT Assistant put together informational packages for communities regarding the RBMW Level 3 program starting in April 2010.
  • The AAIT Assistant gathered the necessary information to organize a RBMW Level 2 program for September 2010.

Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP)

This innovative program provides both in school and after school services to Aboriginal students attending Four Directions. The purpose of the LRP is to enhance youths internal strengths and resiliency while minimizing involvement in substance use, violence and other unhealthy choices and behaviours. The program began this year and has completed the following:

  • During the months of January through March, program staff became familiar with the deliverables of the program. Planning for implementation of the LRP project model was underway;
  • Community Partnerships were secured so that specific programs could be launched and delivered;
  • After school activities were implemented that aligned themselves with building and enhancing relationships with students;
  • A family event was offered to Four Directions students and their families. Dinner was provided along with a brief outline of the LRP program;
  • The first adventure activity, snow tubing, occurred which included both school and LRP staff;
  • Drama program focusing on a student lead video production commenced in partnership with the school. This project will be completed by May 2010; and
  • In July the participants will be going on a three day camping trip and to the Vernon Waterslides.

Aboriginal Partner Assisted Learning (APAL)

The APAL program is a collaborative effort between SCES and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) based on funding from the Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP) under the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. Many adult learners who have lower levels of literacy are not comfortable participating in formal classroom style learning. The learners who receive tutoring from APAL receive free, one-to-one style tutoring in a relaxed atmosphere. The tutors are available to meet in a pre-designated location that is not overwhelming to the learner. Also, the APAL Coordinator, where possible, matches up tutors and learners based on shared experiences or hobbies in an attempt to make the learner more comfortable. The goal of the program was to work with an average of 15 learners per month and at this time there are 15-18 learners per month. Currently the Coordinator has been working on the following:

  • Recruiting tutors and learners for the APAL program;
  • Promoting the APAL program at regional literacy events and meetings;
  • Developing the program at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre (KRCC);
  • Continuing to advertise APAL through media campaigns such as; radio and print ads and newspaper articles; and
  • Offering professional development workshops for the tutors. There will be two workshops that will focus on positive tutoring techniques to assist learners.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Program

For the past two years the FASD Outreach program has focused on educating primary and secondary teachers and students. In addition, the workers had the opportunity to deliver a mentoring program to a few FASD affected students who have benefited significantly by the “one-to-one” services that have been provided to them on a twice weekly basis. The Youth Support Worker is responsible for assisting the staff at Four Directions in delivering a wide variety of essential skills to students by helping them develop life skills, setting goals, planning for careers and assisting with the delivery of a school meal program. In addition, the Youth Support Worker is actively involved in working with students and their families by supporting them with accessing community services that include drug and alcohol counseling, legal aid support, employment services, and medical care by arranging transportation to and from appointments.

Secwepemc Newspaper

The Secwepemc News is a monthly reader-friendly, informative publication serving the people and communities of the Secwepemc Nation. The paper is available for free pick-up at over 200 outlets including band offices, stores, gas stations, restaurants, friendship centres, schools, Secwepemc gatherings, and the offices of various Secwepemc organizations. With all its growth and improvements, Secwepemc News is, more than ever, an excellent communication vehicle to send messages out to the Secwepemc people, other First Nations people living in Shuswap country, and non-Native readers who like to keep current with local First Nations issues by reading the Secwepemc News. Over the last year circulation has been increased by 15% by broadening outlets and promoting the newspaper as a learning tool with local First Nations Support Workers and Teachers. The Editors main focus for the year has been to:

  • Research and interview elders and youth for inspirational and motivating headlines;
  • Upload the newspaper to the SCES website;
  • Continue site visits within Kelowna and Vernon to check on distribution process;
  • Capitalize on major Car Dealerships advertising in Kamloops; and
  • Capture events and stories in the Secwepemc area.

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