Debra Martel has been hired as the new district principal of Indigenous Education, effective August 1, 2019, School District 72 announce June 11.
Martel has 30 years of experience in education, including extensive knowledge of both the K-12 and post-secondary systems and she joins School District 72 from the University of British Columbia, where she served as the associate director of the university’s First Nations House of Learning.
“We are very pleased to welcome Debra to Campbell River and School District 72,” said district superintendent Jeremy Morrow. “Debra is highly regarded for her ability to create safe places for dialogue and strong relationships. She has deep, personal knowledge and understanding of Indigenous histories and colonial impacts, as well as the need to advance the calls to action of Truth and Reconciliation, both professionally and as a proud Métis woman. We are confident that her additional knowledge and experience in post-secondary will build our capacity to successfully help our Indigenous students advance in their educational aspirations.”
In her role at UBC, Martel was instrumental in the development and implementation of the university’s Indigenous strategic plan, helping to advance the Indigenous perspective within UBC’s strategic plan, and the creation of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, among many other accomplishments.
Prior to joining UBC, Martel was the district principal of Aboriginal Education for the Vancouver School Board and successfully led a team in the creation of many opportunities for students, families, staff and community members to increase their awareness of historical impacts, implementation of Aboriginal youth entrepreneurship and mentorship programs, development of curriculum resources and workshops to advance the awareness of Indigenous resources.
Her past K-12 public education experience also includes work as a teacher, behavioural specialist and school administrator. She holds a master of education from the University of British Columbia and a bachelor of education from the University of Manitoba.
Martel will now work alongside the We Wai Kai First Nations, Wei Wai Kum First Nations, Kwiakah First Nations, Xwemalhkwu First Nations, Klahoose First Nations, Kwakiutl District Council, North Island Métis Association, Laichwiltach Family Life Society, Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council, Homalco First Nation and Indigenous Education department staff to continue to advance School District 72’s Indigenous Education Agreement.