Wisdom & Guidance Committee

About the Wisdom and Guidance Committee

Wolf Creek Public Schools formed its Wisdom and Guidance Committee in September 2014. The Wisdom and Guidance Committee provides an opportunity for First Nations, Métis Elders, parents, and students, to meet with Wolf Creek School personnel to discuss issues related to student success.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the Wisdom and Guidance Committee is to provide an opportunity for Elders, parents, students and community members, alongside Wolf Creek School Division personnel, to meet to share ideas on how to best support students in programming that produce improved results for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students. The committee will meet once per month and the format of the meetings will be that of a Sharing/Talking circle. “Talking circles are based on the sacred traditions of the sharing circles. Talking circles create a safe environment for participants to share their point of view with others. In a talking circle everyone belongs. Participants in a talking circle learn to listen to and respect the views of others. The intention is to open people’s hearts so that they can understand and connect with one another.“ (Education is Our Buffalo ATA 2008)

Meeting Structure

The sharing/talking circle will typically have four rounds and the talking stick will be passed to each person. A question will be posed to the committee and the committee will respond and provide feedback. Protocols will be discussed before the session begins. The last round of the circle will be the action plan in which the committee members will identify their role and the action, if necessary, that must be taken. At this time minutes will be kept by the FNMI Student Success Coordinator to record the direction and the action that will be taken. Members of the Maskwacis community and Wolf Creek Public School personnel will be invited based on the needs of the committee.

Wisdom & Guidance Committee Protocols

(Note: chair is expected to review these at the start of every meeting as a reminder)

Working Together

  • The chair (Note: chair refers to the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Student Success Coordinator, Elder, Joseph Deschamps, and Irene Loutitt)
  • Active listening is expected and distractors are discouraged to ensure full engagement in the meeting.
  • In the event that confidential information is shared in the meeting, the Wisdom and Guidance committee resolves to protecting it.
  • Respecting all team members by committing to the Talking Circle Protocols.

Talking Circle Protocols (Taken From Our Words, Our Ways - Alberta Education 2005)

  • Participants sit in a circle, which symbolizes completeness.
  • Everyone’s contributions are equally important.
  • People should say what they feel or believe, beginning with “I- statements (for example, “I feel that…”)
  • All comments should directly address the question or the issue, not comments another person has made. Both negative and positive comments about what others say should be avoided.
  • A feather, rock, beaded item, or talking stick will be used as a talking object.
  • When the talking object is placed in someone’s hands, it is that person’s turn to share his or her thoughts, without interruption. The object is then passed to the next person in a clockwise direction.
  • Whoever is holding the object has the right to speak, and others have the responsibility to listen.
  • Everyone listens in a nonjudgmental way.
  • Silence is an acceptable response. There must be no negative reaction to the phrase, “I pass.”
  • Speakers should feel free to express themselves in any way that is comfortable to them (for example, sharing a story or personal experience, using examples of metaphors).

The Committee's Roles Include

  • Provide guidance on strategies to improve programming for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students within Wolf Creek School Division.
  • Provide guidance on strategies to infuse culture into the schools such as Elder programs and cultural days.
  • Identify issues, gaps, and barriers to Aboriginal students receiving equitable access to services across the school district and identify strategies to address these issues.
  • Provide Cultural Teachings and Awareness to Educators and students to deepen the understanding of First Nations people.

Wisdom & Guidance Meeting Minutes

Please click on the date to read minutes from the Wisdom & Guidance Meetings.

 October 10, 2017