Southgate Middle School teacher, Danita Lewis is one of 10 recipients for the 2017 Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Awards.
Lewis was recognized for her work in culture, language and traditions education at the award ceremony in Montreal on Dec. 1.
Indspire, the largest funder of Indigenous post-secondary education outside the federal government, presents the awards to recognize the achievements of outstanding educators of Indigenous students. Guiding the Journey honourees have innovative and impactful teaching practices, advocate for resources and culturally based curricula, and help Indigenous students reach their full potential.
“These educators are exemplary in their innovation and dedication to supporting First Nation, Inuit, and Métis children and youth,” said Roberta Jamieson, president and CEO of Indspire. “They are creating lasting change in the communities they serve and enriching the field of Indigenous education through their contributions.”
Lewis is from Cold Lake First Nations. Since 2011, she has served as a district Indigenous culture and explorations teacher at Southgate School where she developed the school’s First Nations studies program for Grade 6 and 7 students.
The curriculum was developed in consultation with local Indigenous people and is delivered to hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students each year. It has also served as the basis for a similar offering at École Phoenix Middle School.
“We are extremely proud that Ms. Lewis is receiving national attention for her efforts in Indigenous education,” said Tom Longridge, School District 72 superintendent of schools.
“Her work has benefited students throughout the district as she has been instrumental in developing our middle school First Nations studies programs. Through her courses, students are experiencing deep, transformative learning, and Indigenous culture is more evident and celebrated by the entire school community.”