Departments & Programs - Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education

New Westminster Schools is committed to improving school success for Aboriginal students.

Our second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement was signed in the fall of 2012 and represents a commitment by the Aboriginal and school communities, and the Ministry of Education:

  •  to honor the diverse histories and cultures of Aboriginal peoples,
  • to increase the awareness of students, staff and community members of the contemporary and historical issues that affect Aboriginal peoples,
  • to increase the integration of relevant Aboriginal resources in classrooms, and
  • to increase academic and social success for all Aboriginal learners.


Our goal statements are:

  • Help Aboriginal students develop pride, confidence and self-esteem through identification with their ancestry;
  • Improve the performance of Aboriginal learners in Grades 4-7 in reading and writing;
  • Support Aboriginal students in making smooth transitions as they:
    • Enter school
    • Move between schools
    • Move from elementary to middle to secondary;
    • Move from Grade 10-11 and 11-12; and
    • Prepare to enter the workforce of post-secondary education.

New Westminster Schools will continue to monitor progress and adjust strategies and targets as needed. Our Aboriginal Education staff includes:

  • Aboriginal Education Coordinator Bertha Lansdowne, responsible for the development, design and support of programs for Aboriginal students in K to grade 12.
  • District Cultural Facilitator Laura Newman, supporting Aboriginal students at the secondary school level and assisting in the delivery of the District cultural program for kindergarten to grade 12.
  • District Aboriginal Support Workers who provide academic, social and cultural support to Aboriginal students throughout our district; liaise between schools and families; and support the ongoing development and implementation of Aboriginal teachings.
  • New Westminster Secondary School Aboriginal Youth Worker Lee Laufer, who provides individualized support to NWSS Aboriginal students as needed. Services may include: tutoring supports, homework clubs, cultural field trips, after-school programming, and post-secondary planning assistance.