I. General Information

School Name: χpey̓ Elementary

School District: SD#39 Vancouver

Inquiry Team Members: Bernadette Milton. bmilton@vsb.bc.ca
Jennifer Sebastian jsebastian@vsb.bc.ca
Mary Leman-Viggers. mlemanviggers@vsb.bc.ca

Inquiry Team Contact Email: ddelorme@vsb.bc.ca

II. Inquiry Project Information

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE Transitions Study

Grade Levels Addressed Through Inquiry: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)

Curricular Areas Addressed: Arts Education, Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing

Focus Addressed: Indigenous understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), First Peoples Principles of Learning, Inclusion and inclusive instructional strategies, Indigenous pedagogy

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? How can we use Indigenous story as a tool to cultivate a sense of identity, place and belonging?

III. Spirals of Inquiry Details


Wonders and questions…

  • How to teach language, as we are an urban Indigenous school – do we teach only the local language or can we teach the language of other territories?
  • Important to think about what we are doing on the territories that we work on – check in with Trudi Harris at the Indigenous Education department.

Wholistic Indigenous Learning Framework:

  • The framework was reviewed both the survey and the rubric.
  • Agreed to continue to use it and submit the survey to the staff again at the end of June and throughout the year.

Include the 5 R’s – up to 9 R’s (article shared by David):

  • Respect
  • Relationship
  • Relevance
  • Reciprocity
  • Responsible

Focus: This area was selected because we wanted students to know their story and to leave school with a connection to their history and family, in hopes of making it an easier transition.

Hunch: We have such a diverse population from all across Canada. We wanted our students to have connection to their heritage and be more familiar with their own stories.

New Professional Learning: We looked at using Indigenous literacy to engage our learners. Using the teachings from the medicine wheel, First Peoples Principles of Learning, and Indigenous ways of Knowing and Being.

Taking Action:

1) Survey staff seeking input on the rubric
2) Compile the results and share with staff last day of school June 30th, 2023
3) Meet with staff on first day of school in September to discuss new direction for Inquiry team
4) NOIIE committee meet early September to plan next two staff meetings to further discuss the article and the Wholistic Learning framework, which was created 11 years ago

Description of pictures: Top – Inquiry planning; Middle & Bottom – Activity shared by the grade 1/2 classroom, looking at Indigenous stories from their nation which were created by the students and shared with the rest of the school.


  • We will continue to broaden our scope and work next year on creating a plan starting in Kindergarten.
  • We will plan out the years and expectations of each year.

Reflections/Advice: I learned that we do have a strong team with many ideas to share. I also learned that many of our students are eager to learn their stories and eager to share them with others. I look forward to next year.