Mount Boucherie Secondary School SD#23 Central Okanagan

I. General Information

School Name: Mount Boucherie Secondary School

School District: SD#23 Central Okanagan

Inquiry Team Members: Mary Redfearn:
Ryan Mansley:
Toni Owens:
Nicole Rishaug:
Christian Rogers:
Tom Harbour:

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

II. Inquiry Project Information

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE Transitions Study

Grade Levels Addressed Through Inquiry: Secondary (8-12)

Curricular Areas Addressed: Career Education, Other: Indigenous Education

Focus Addressed: Indigenous understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Community-based learning, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Indigenous pedagogy, Land, Nature or Place-based learning, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Bridging the gap between home, families and the school; building positive relationships and connections.

III. Spirals of Inquiry Details

Scanning: We led with the first of the four key questions and adapted the rest to fit with our own hunches and focus from our scan in the previous year, which asked all four questions. We heard and validated student stories, put students at the center, and acknowledged connections to culture and community.

Focus: We realized that students are lacking skills both when they come to the building and once they leave. We also wanted to improve attendance for our Indigenous students by building meaningful connections.

Hunch: Kids in the program are connected to Indigenous Academy staff, but not necessarily those beyond this program. Another hunch was that building connections would improve connections and success.

New Professional Learning:

  • We attended the NOIIE conference
  • Wayi Wah!
  • University course on local Indigenous culture and knowledge
  • Restitution and Restorative practices book

Taking Action: We transitioned a semestered Leadership class into a year long Indigenous Learning Community, to build consistent community for our vulnerable students. We’ve invited school-based team members into our community to grow comfortability. We’ve taken action by scanning and interviewing students, establishing relationships with students and setting the foundation to do more work next year. We’re also planning action items such as a welcome back BBQ and Truth and Reconciliation Assembly.

Photo description: This is a photo of our Indigenous students picking sage with various members of our school-based team

Checking: We’re diversifying our student interviews, and doing individual interviews allowing students to share more comfortably than in small groups. We built the year-long learning community – which was successful for our vulnerable students – but it wasn’t yet enough to make them comfortable beyond this community. We’ve seen a positive change in our interviews by seeing more adults being identified. We’ve realized that we need to be more intentional about including other adults in the building. We’ve built relationships within the community, and all of our Indigenous students and families were invited to the Siya Festival on the last day of school.

Reflections/Advice: We’re still learning and actioning. It’s important for other groups to understand that it takes time to do this properly, and you’ll start spiraling beyond the original spiral. Our next steps are to start strong by welcoming students and families next year and set a positive tone for connection! We will return in September knowing that these action items are in place.