Southgate Middle School teacher Danita Lewis is a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2017 she was one of 10 recipients for the 2017 Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Awards. Black Press File Photo

Campbell River educator finalist for Governor General’s history teaching award

Danita Lewis receiving recognition for her First Nations Studies program

A Campbell River educator is once again being recognized for her work in teaching Canadian history.

Danita Lewis, a Southgate Middle School teacher, is a finalist for this year’s Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Lewis’ First Nations Studies program engages both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Grade 6 and 7 students in learning about First Nation people in Canada, a news release from the Campbell River School District said.

“Through experiential and explanatory learning, the program creates an awareness and respect for Indigenous history, culture and tradition, and serves to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners.”

Lewis is no stranger to educational awards. In 2017, she was one of 10 recipients of the Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Awards.

Lewis is a member of the DeneSuline Nation in Cold Lake, Alta.

Her First Nations Studies program sees between 400 and 500 Grade 6 and 7 students each year.

“Students end up being more kind, caring and compassionate,” said Lewis in a Canada’s History podcast interview. “This programs serves to build bridges.”

She said students learn about the history of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people, “fundamentally the backbone of our country.”

Lewis said she designed the program about eight years ago and really drew inspiration from her daugher.

“I really think that there’s a need to have authentic Indigneous knowledge in our education system,” she said

The program is centred around a holistic learning approach with a lot of hands-on learning and makes history relevant to students. Lewis invites elders and knowledge keepers to speak in her classroom.

“I think history is really important because it’s a means for change and not repeating past mistakes,” said Lewis. “We need to teach the true history of the land that we reside on.”

Of the 25 finalists for the award, six teachers will be honoured with a cash prize of $2,500, an additional $1,000 for their school and an all-expense paid trip for two to Ottawa to received their award. The winners will be announced this fall.

RELATED: SD72 teacher recognized with national award for Indigenous education

RELATED: Campbell River drama teacher recognized for ‘banner year’


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Virtual Golf Tournament to help Firefighters’ Burn Fund

Book a bay at Velocity in October to help raise money for charity

Campbell River’s September Mountie of the Month is a very good boy

PDS Gator named Mountie of the Month for Sept. 2020

Photographer Eiko Jones delivered the 11th Annual Haig Brown lecture at Tidemark Theatre

Jones also screened his newly completed movie Heartbeat of the River at the event

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Float-plane crash near Oyster River leaves pilot injured

The plane crashed shortly after take-off from a private property and had no other passengers on board

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

North Island All Candidates Meeting scheduled virtually for Oct. 14

‘our local candidates for the B.C. Provincial Election will be joining us’

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Most Read