Abbotsford School District office.                                File photo

Abbotsford School District office. File photo

Abbotsford Indigenous educator receives national recognition

Kimberly Sommer wins role model award from Indspire’s 2018 Guiding the Journey educator awards

An Abbotsford educator is among 10 people from across Canada to receive an award aimed at celebrating Indigenous educators.

Indspire, a charitable organization that supports and invests in Indigenous education, released its 2018 Guiding Journey: Indigenous Educator Awards recipients Wednesday, with recognition going toward 10 educators across Canada.

Kimberly Sommer, a cultural support worker and aboriginal education presenter at the Abbotsford school district, won the role model award at this year’s awards.

Indspire said the Guiding Journey awards are intended to acknowledge recipients for “innovative and impactful teaching practices, advocating for resources and culturally based curricula, and helping Indigenous students reach their full potential.

“Their hard work and dedication to each of their students is what will lead Indigenous youth to success at school and ultimately to becoming the next generation of leaders across the country.”

Sommer is joined by educators from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, B.C., Nunavut and Nova Scotia.

The awards were handed out in seven categories, including community service, innovative practice, leadership; language, culture and traditions; role model, partner in Indigenous education and organization award.

“The key to reconciliation is education, and this year’s Guiding the Journey award recipients are leading the way,” said Roberta Jamieson, CEO of Indspire. “These outstanding educators are preserving our languages, developing culturally relevant education resources, and creating safe places for our young people to be empowered in reaching their full potential as Indigenous people.”

The Guiding the Journey celebration is part of Indspire’s National Gathering for Indigenous Education, which will be held Nov. 8 and 9 at the Shaw Centre in Edmonton, expected to attract a thousand attendees from across the country.

The event will host over 50 workshops and presentations, sharing experiences, successful practices and innovative strategies for Indigenous education, all in an effort to improve educational outcomes of K-12 Indigenous students.