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Indigenous Education

November 2, 2023

The goal of the Indigenous Education Department is to provide assistance to the instructional staff and support staff in order that they may develop and implement appropriate programming for all students. Indigenous students acquire a positive self-identity through learning their own histories, cultures and contemporary lifestyles. Non-Indigenous students develop an understanding and respect for the histories, cultures, and contemporary lifestyles of Indigenous peoples. All students will develop informed opinions on matters relating to Indigenous People. The integration of Indigenous values, languages, histories and cultures occurs throughout all curricula K-12.

Indigenous Education has been a priority in Winnipeg School Division since 1993. The purpose is to strengthen and enhance Indigenous Education through Curriculum integration program development and learning opportunities for teachers and administrators.

WSD adopted an Indigenous Education Policy in 1996, and two schools were established to offer academic courses, Indigenous languages (Cree and Ojibwe) and cultural programming. Niji Mahkwa School (N-8) opened in 1993 and Children of the Earth High School (Grade 9-12) was established in 1991. In 2016, WSD Bilingual Programming expanded to include Cree and Ojibwe starting at Kindergarten at Isaac Brock School. Students in bilingual programming receive all the same curriculum as English only schools, with the added benefit of learning Language Arts, Social Studies and other subject in the second language.

Rob Riel
Assistant Superintendent, Indigenous Education
Phone: 204-775-0231
VOIP: 100-430

Marsha Missyabit
Divisional Kookum
Phone: 204-775-0231
VOIP: 100-468

Strengthen and Enhance Indigenous Education Initiatives

Indigenous Elder

The Indigenous Elder plays an important role in connecting the school and the community. The Elder is responsible for helping break down the stigma and systemic barriers and providing support and guidance on culturally appropriate services and programs. This includes:

  • Promoting and supporting cultural awareness and understanding for all involved with children/students and their families;  
  • Linking the Indigenous community and school; 
  • Promoting and supporting Indigenous language acquisition and retention;  
  • Guiding and counselling students, families and school staff;  
  • Assisting all staff with the infusion of Indigenous content and perspectives into daily programming;
  • Taking the lead in traditional learning environments that may include smudging, land-based teaching, and pipe ceremony;
  • Assisting with the development of culturally sensitive programs and the establishment of new criteria for programming for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students;
  • Developing and facilitating in-house training for staff in order to move toward a deeper understanding of Indigenous learners and their needs.

WSD Elder and Knowledge Keeper

Dr. Myra Laramee
Prince Charles Education Resource Centre, Room 116
Phone 204-788-0203 VOIP 184570

Program Lead and Program Support Teachers

  • Provide school-wide in-services and divisional workshops. 
  • Work in collaboration with other consultants in developing and professional learning activities and curricula.
  • Assist with the integration of Indigenous content into all subject areas of the curriculum.
  • Facilitate four AAA meetings per year to:
  • provide networking opportunities for AAA support teachers and school representatives,
  • distribute new information as it becomes available,
  • strengthen and enhance the Indigenous Initiatives at the school level

Program Leads

Rina Whitford
Prince Charles Education Resource Centre, Room 134
Phone 204-788-0203 VOIP 101376

Jen Donachuk
Prince Charles Education Resource Centre, Room 134
Phone 204-788-0203 VOIP 101309

Jill Cooper
Prince Charles Education Resource Centre, Room 134
Phone 204-788-0203 VOIP 101324


Program Support Teacher

Tamara Rondeau
Prince Charles Education Resource Centre, Room 106
Phone 204-788-0203 VOIP 101319

Indigenous Graduation Coaches

Children of the Earth High School
Jana Kawiuk
Phone 204-589-6383 VOIP 133535

Gordon Bell High School
Jeremy Haines
Phone 204-774-5401 VOIP 187511

Grant Park High School
Reuben Boulette
Phone 204-452-3112 VOIP 174596

Kelvin High School
Elyse Vezina
Phone 204-474-1492 VOIP 185500

St. John's High School
Michelle Gougeon
Phone 204-589-4374 VOIP 123530

Tec Voc High School
Shane Bostrom
Phone 204-786-1401 VOIP 111540


Project Manager (Ozhitoon Onji Peenjiiee - Build From Within)

Desi-Rae Anderson
Phone 204-788-0203 VOIP


Literacy Intervention Support Teachers

Moira Bauer
Dufferin School
Phone 204-774-3409
Champlain School
Phone 204-586-5139

Janice Caplan
Greenway School
Phone 204-775-2455
Wellington School
Phone 204-774-8085

Leanne Chernetz
Isaac Brock School
Phone 204-772-9527

Tammy Stevenson
Shaughnessy Park School
Phone 204-586-8583
Faraday School
 Phone 204-586-8376

Lisa Titley
William Whyte School
Phone 204-589-4313
Machray School
Phone 204-589-4313

Monica Sim
Niji Mahkwa School
Phone 204-589-6742

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