School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) proposed a change to acknowledge other Indigenous people in the Central and West Kootenay region has blurred the lines of education and politics. This move by our school board trustees has made them look very amateurish.
The B.C. education system has a long record of failure when it comes to history, especially Indigenous history. Accuracy has not been a strong point of the local education system when it comes to the Lower Kootenay Band, either. As a Prince Charles Secondary School graduate, the history, culture, and perspective of the Lower Kootenay Band was notably absent in social studies classes – at least up to 1990.
But, here’s where SD8 gets into the nitty-crazy. Now, they want to acknowledge other Indigenous people at school events as though that will really change things or make life better for students. Daily acknowledgement of “traditional lands” of any Indigenous group will not and cannot be recognized where it really matters: the BC Land Title Office. To do so would basically give all the land back to Indigenous people and we all know that will never happen.
So, Chief Jason Louie has a right to be incensed at the encroachment of other Indigenous groups’ claim to fame over lands historically at the heart of Lower Kootenay Band. To add to SD8’s crazy-making, they invited the wannabe government known as the Ktunaxa Nation council to the local party. But, given that we are in the back yard of the Lower Kootenay Band, Chief Jason Louie will, no doubt, have the last word and his words are strong.
Rob Louie | Lower Kootenay Band Member
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