The Full Story
As a young child, I was dazzled by my mother’s stories of working across the North. As a young adult, my interest became my passion, directing my studies to the people and their history of the territories. Through teaching, I have been given a gift of exploring and discovering the unique cultural experiences and perspectives that my students bring everyday. I remain dazzled.
I possess a Master’s of Education (thesis comparing the FNMI Educational Policy within Canada’s Territories), and am currently a PhD student in Education (dissertation on the impacts of the contemporary education systems and policies pertaining to First Nation students in the Yukon). I also possess a Bachelor’s of Arts (History), Bachelor’s of Education (History/Geography/FNMI), and Master’s of Arts (thesis on the testimonials of Dene First Nation Groups that participated in the 1975 Berger Inquiry). I additionally possess a number of certifications related to special education, behaviour supports, crisis intervention, and trauma-related incidents including counseling, mental health, and educational psychology, including Mental Health First Aid and ASIST.
Since 2018, I have taught kindergarten through grade 12 in six schools across all three territories, exclusively in FNMI communities.
I am currently the LAT and acting principal at Watson Lake Secondary School, and demonstrate educational leadership as I currently sit on a number of boards and committees (Teacher Qualification Service, Educational Tribunal, LAT working group, ProDev Committee). These opportunities have given me experience providing staff, teachers, and EAs with instructional leadership, supervision, mentorship, and evaluation. My role also includes co-teaching and teacher training so our staff remain vigilant. I have worked with UDL and tiered support, as well as trained EAs on both. I am the administrator of territorial wide assessments at my school, and am frequently providing our staff with the current knowledge on testing and assessment.
I am a firm believer in modifications and adaptations; it is important that all learners are given opportunities to demonstrate their learning in ways that work for them. To support inclusive classrooms, I have knowledge of current flexible strategies and practices that allow students to progress academically, personally, and culturally. As LAT, I have demonstrated capabilities, experiences, and training related to success with diverse learners, developing and implementing SBTs, IEPs, SSPs, BSPs, safety plans, and differentiated pedagogy based on class and student profiles. I have training in the area of literacy and numeracy. I have incorporated the appropriate interventions and inclusive learning particularly related to the social/emotional domain.
I possess the abilities to establish and maintain relationships with all stakeholders in education, from the department level to the community and classroom. I work alongside outside agencies from EdPsych evaluations to dentistry and optometry. I currently sit on a number of boards and committees (Teacher Qualification Service, Educational Tribunal, ProDev Committee) related to the Yukon education system as a representative of various educational stakeholders, demonstrating my passion for education and initiative relating to the progress of the educational system for First Nation students. My experiences highlight that I have effective interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively work as a team.
My experiences in the North allow me to participate in various FNMI programing and experience, including culture camps. I incorporate place-based education programming through animal processing on the land, map making on the land, as well as participating in language revitalization which is strongly tied to place and location. In addition, I have experience organizing, planning, and delivering culturally related events such as the organization of Indigenous Remembrance Day ceremonies, Orange Shirt Day ceremonies, and events relating to the health and well-being of Indigenous students. Being a part of the community I serve is a great honour and in each community I work in, I strive to learn my students’ language so I can privilege their ways of knowing and doing.
I have a firm belief that my students need to become educators for their communities as one step toward reconciliation and the decolonization of the education system. I have personal and educational experience directly speaking to culturally responsive teaching practices, the decolonization and Indigenization of pedagogy, and enacting First Nations educational priorities. My education, as well as my personal experience within the classrooms of the North, highlight my understanding of FNMI cultures, instructional techniques, interdisciplinary perspectives, pedagogy and methodology, and Northern issues/trends.