Sequoia Outreach School

Sequoia Outreach School

In April 2003 consultation meetings began with Siksika and Gleichen regarding setting up an outreach school in the Gleichen community.   Challenges were discussed and options were outlined to meet the concerns.  When both communities committed to offer their support plans were made to open a school.

Gleichen Siksika Outreach School , Grades 7 through 12, opened in the United Church on August 28, 2003.  The mandate of the school would be to offer high school completion and upgrading to students in Siksika, Gleichen and surrounding area, who for whatever reason, were unable to complete their schooling in the mainstream.  The partnership between Siksika Education, under the direction of Superintendent Amelia Clark and Golden Hills School Division #75, under the direction of Associate Superintendent Edwin Holt outlined the joint responsibilities to the school community. In 2005 the school applied to have their name changed to ‘Sequoia Outreach School”.

The school originally opened with 35 students, but the population quickly grew to nearly 100 full and part –time students and we outgrew our church location.  In January of 2008 we moved into the Gleichen Drop-In-Center.  This new improved space allowed the school to enhance their program delivery and graduation numbers increased accordingly.

In 2008 Sequoia Outreach staff began working in earnest with Siksika Education to open an Outreach School on the Nation.  The plan in setting up our school had always been to act as a transition agent for the Nation to open their own outreach schools.  In September 2008 Siksika opened their first outreach school, initially designated for Junior High students only.  Sequoia now delivers program only to high school students.  The opening of the Siksika StoreFront allowed for more high school students to attend Sequoia.

Sequoia Outreach has received awards and recognition for their unique and highly successful program:

2004: Mayor’s Award For Excellence in Education for their unique partnership with Siksika, (the only one of its kind in Canada.)

2007: Premiers Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education

2008: Mayor’s Award for Excellence: Family Violence Prevention Program with White Buffalo

2011: Literacy Award In Excellence in Education

 

Contributed by: Denise Peterson

2 Responses to Sequoia Outreach School

  1. Kim Wheatley says:

    Aanii/Boozhoo
    I just wanted to share my congratulations and offer my unequivocal support to the amazing students at Sequoia! I was priviledged to view the video posted today on Nation Talk and was so inspired by their words, faces and commitment to change their lives that I had to send a note of acknowledgement.
    I offer support to learners in my conservation programme that is Aboriginal specific and feel strongly about encouraging all of our children to utilize education as a healthy road to positive change in their lives.
    I am Anishinaabe Kwe from a very small community here in Ontarion that manifested change in my own life as a late learner who did my highschool in m late 30’s then went on to University twice and college two times as well. I now coordinate a unique Aboriginal Conservation programme here in Toronto at the Toronto Zoo. It has been my passion to provide culturally reflective resources to empower and reflect the wisdom and knowledge of ancestors in a true and honest way. The development of this work was all coordinated by me and can be viewed at http://www.turtleislandconservation.com
    I have been the coordinator of this programme since 2008 and experienced an overwhelming outpouring of community support for the educational slant the programme has developed in consultation with our Great Lakes First Nation Communities in the greater Southern region of Ontario. It is will great pride that I witness this story of the Sequoia students courage to take on the value of education and effectively change the course of their lives!!
    I am sooo proud of each and every one of them. Please never loose sight of the benefits of what you are doing. Parenthood, education, partnership and the many other roles you have to play in your lives can all be juggled into a lifetime of benefit.
    I am inspired by you all! I wish you individually spiritually grounded and founded beautiful lives!
    With deep respect,
    Kim Wheatley
    Aboriginal Programme Coordinator
    Turtle Island Conservation Toronto Zoo
    turtleisland@torontozoo.ca
    http://www.turtleislandconservation.com
    416-393-6362

  2. cornhb says:

    In addition, Youth Advisory Board members provide outreach for both the Sequoia Teen Resource Center and Sequoia Wellness Center.

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