Successful Practices in First Nations Education: Based on the Tyee Solutions Society Series by Katie Hyslop

November 10, 2011

First Nations educators are offering inspiration and hope to a new generation of learners. Join us for an afternoon of presentations and discussion about K-12 programs that go beyond usual practice.

Educators from Chief Atahm School on the Adams Lake Reserve, and the school districts of Haida Gwaii and Vancouver BC share successful stories from these very different communities. 


Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre

Meeting Room 206, 207, Vancouver



ROBERT MATTHEW: Robert Matthew, Principal Chief Atahm School – is a member of the Simpcw First Nation. He has a Master of Education: Administration and Curriculum, and is a past First Nations Schools Association board member. He has worked for 32 years in education, and has worked for the past 17 years at Chief Atahm School, a Parent-Operated First Nation School. He has extensive experience in Secwepemc language and history, field research and curriculum development. He believes that a strong positive cultural identity will foster an inner strength that will enable First Nations students to meet challenges as adults. Teaching first Nations history, culture and language can be integrated into a student’s education. Mr. Matthew is married with a daughter and two step sons.


JOANNE YOVANOVICH: I was born and raised in the Ts’aahl Eagle Clan of Skidegate on Haida Gwaii my Haida name is Taanud Jaad. I currently work as the Principal of Aboriginal Education for School District 50 Haida Gwaii. I am rooted in my community and the place of Haida Gwaii and strive to connect the worlds of cultural and school knowledge.I am deeply committed to making a difference in student success rates on Haida Gwaii. I believe that culturally responsive education is a key to student success, as it is transformative, inspiring and validating for both students and staff who are willing to embrace the philosophy.


GLORIA RAPHAEL: Gloria is from the Nlhaka’pamux Nation and has one daughter, Tanya, who is a teacher with the Victoria School District. Gloria was born and raised in Lytton BC and comes from a family of seven sisters and three brothers. Presently, she is the principal of Grandview/¿uuqinak’uuh Elementary and has just been hired by Surrey School District as the District Principal Education Services (with an Aboriginal Education Focus).Gloria has been involved in education for the past 30 years. Most of her teaching was with the Vernon School district and three years in Australia. She worked with the Qualicum School District as a First Nation Education Coordinator/Counsellor, the Ministry of Education both in Field Services and Aboriginal Education Divisions. She was a principal with the Victoria School District and there she facilitated the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement and was part of a team who developed the “Circle of Connectedness” a tool for tracking the “sense of care and belonging” in schools. She continues to be actively involved in Aboriginal Education. 

with an introduction from:

KATIE HYSLOP: Katie Hyslop was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, but since coming to Vancouver in 2008 to complete a masters of journalism at the University of British Columbia, she hasn’t found a good reason to leave the west coast yet. A journalist for eight years, Katie specializes in social justice and education reporting, and has written in The Tyee, Megaphone Magazine, OpenFile Vancouver, The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and This Magazine, as well as produced pieces for CBC Radio.

Read Katie Hyslop’s series Successful Practices in First Nations Education.

Registration Fee – $30

Scholarships are available. Call 604-695-2033or email salbertson@columbiainstitute for more information.