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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Program

Contact us

Brigette Benning
Indigenous Educator
Central Office:
(780) 532-8133
FNMI School Representatives: 
Beaverlodge Elementary School
Krista Lucas
(780) 354-2446
Beaverlodge Regional High School
Connie Calliou
(780) 354-2189
Bezanson School 
Kimberley Living
(780) 532-6490
Clairmont Community School
Jackie Benning
(780) 567-4698
Elmworth School
Cynthia Gauthier
(780) 354-8375
Harry Balfour School
Shirley Boomer
(780) 532-9276
Helen E. Taylor School
To be announced
(780) 766-9103
Hythe Regional School
Barb Belcourt
Shirley Horseman
shirleyhorseman@pwsd76.ab.ca Marlene Letendre
(780) 356-3934
Peace Wapiti Academy
Mhairi Elliot
(780) 513-9504
Penson School
JoAnne Bernier
(780) 532-6390
Ridgevalley School
Bev Mustus
(780) 957-3995
Robert W. Zahara Public School
Angela Dougal
(780) 568-3823
Rycroft School
Heather Campbell
(780) 765-3830
Sexsmith Secondary School
Angela Dougal
(780) 568-3642
Spirit River Regional Academy
Corinne Dennis
(780) 864-3696
Teepee Creek School
Casey Brown
(780) 568-2265
Wembley Elementary School
Muriel Laboucan
(780) 766-9103
Whispering Ridge
Shirley Boomer
(587) 771-2180
 Above: FNMI Liaison Worker Shelly Logan (l) meets with a student at Clairmont Community School.

FNMI Program Goal

The First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Program at Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) is designed to educate all students, while enhancing the self-esteem of FNMI students and encouraging them to pursue their dreams and work to their full potential. The high school completion rate of FNMI students at PWPSD is significantly higher than the provincial average. Schools offering FNMI programming seek to form collaborative partnerships with leaders and communities to support student success by developing culturally relevant programs, resources and student supports.


How the FNMI Program works

In agreement with Alberta Education, each FNMI student and their parent(s) or guardian(s) will be asked to sign a declaration of FNMI status so that Alberta Education may monitor the number of FNMI students throughout PWPSD and the province of Alberta. When a student self-identifies as FNMI and returns the signed declaration to the school, he or she is connected with a FNMI Liaison Worker.

Read the FNMI brochure online.
FNMI Liaison Workers
  • Meet with students on a regular basis during school hours to support their social and academic needs.
  • Seek to establish and maintain a trust relationship with FNMI students and their families to assist with school-related issues.
  • Improve communication and increase interaction between students, parents, communities and schools.
  • Increase the knowledge and understanding of FNMI history, Treaty and Aboriginal rights, lands, cultures and languages; and to provide referral services for FNMI students and families to appropriate agencies. 
Aboriginal Summer Job Shadowing Program
FNMI students may apply for a week of classroom training at Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) followed by six weeks of job shadowing. Students are housed at GPRC’s residence facilities and receive a training allowance of $400 per week. Thanks to partnerships between PWPSD, GPRC and local businesses, this program is eligible for high school credit. FNMI students will be exposed to possible career prospects and receive insights into the path required to achieve future goals.
New FNMI-focused initiatives at PWPSD
  • Cree Language and Aboriginal Studies courses are offered at Hythe Regional School.
  • Additional support for specialized classes or projects focusing on FNMI student success.
  • Annual $1,000 FNMI post-secondary scholarship.
  • ‘Circle of Courage’ positive behaviour modelling.
  • Increased FNMI content in classrooms and libraries.
FNMI Guest Speaker Series

Guests share their success stories during PWPSD’s annual school tour. Past FNMI guest speakers include:
  • Sherryl Sewepagaham, music educator, award-winning musician, and co-founding member of Asani.
  • Lorne Cardinal, actor from CTV’s Corner Gas.
  • Monique Hurteau, producer, writer and comedian who appears on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) as a fitness expert.
  • Cree musicians Jason Chamakese and Robert Gladue.
  • Linsay Willier, Canada’s Next Top Model finalist.
  • J.R. LaRose, a free safety with the BC Lions, and Jed Roberts, former Edmonton Eskimos linebacker and defensive end.
  • Ashley Callingbull, Miss Canada International 2010, Mrs. Universe 2015.
  • Reggie and Jamie Leach, the only Aboriginal father and son to be listed on the Stanley Cup.


Policy Statement on Native Education

Introduced by Alberta’s Minister of Education to the Alberta Legislative Assembly in 1987, the Policy Statement on Native Education in Alberta was significant because it was issued by the Government of Alberta. The policy stated that “Alberta Education would support the development and delivery of programs and services that would:

  • provide enhanced and equal opportunities for Native students to acquire the quality of education traditional in Alberta;
  • challenge Native students to learn and perform to the best of their ability;
  • provide opportunities for Native students to study and experience their own and other Native cultures and lifestyles;
  • provide opportunities for all students, Native and non-Native, in Alberta’s schools to recognize and appreciate the various Native cultures and their many contributions to the province and society.”


National Aboriginal Day 2015 - Harry Balfour School


Media Releases

Mar. 08, 2017  Duane Howard of The Revenant set to star in upcoming FNMI school tour
Mar. 01, 2017  PWPSD’s annual FNMI Scholarship awarded to Spirit River Regional Academy graduate
Sept. 09, 2016  Back-to-back FNMI hockey-themed tours planned for September
June 20, 2016  PWPSD schools celebrate National Aboriginal Day
May 25, 2016  Aboriginal musician Sherryl Sewepagaham to tour PWPSD schools
Mar. 02, 2016  PWPSD students to be recognized with Aboriginal Youth Role Model Awards
Sept. 17, 2015  Lorne Cardinal, Monique Hurteau to tour PWPSD schools
June 26, 2015  Beaverlodge graduate receives PWPSD's FNMI Scholarship
June 04, 2015  Blue Bird Dance Troupe celebrates National Aboriginal Day with Harry Balfour School
June 04, 2015  PWPSD schools celebrate National Aboriginal Day
Apr. 29, 2015  CFL duo return for second leg of FNMI school tour
Mar. 30, 2015  Hythe Healthy Initiatives Program receives $6,000 boost
Mar. 04, 2015  PWPSD students to be recognized with Aboriginal Youth Role Model Awards
Oct. 16, 2014  
FNMI school tour featuring Cree musicians underway at PWPSD schools

In the News

Mar. 20, 2016  Star of 'The Revenant' inspires local students, 2day FM
Mar. 09, 2017  Revenant actor starts in FNMI tour, Daily Herald Tribune

Mar. 07, 2017  "The Revenant" start to tour Peace Country Schools, 2day FM

Mar. 05, 2017  Aboriginal Youth awards presented, Daily Herald Tribune
Sept. 13, 2016  FNMI Tour with Stanley Cup winners continues, Big Country 93.1 FM
Sept. 13, 2016  Stanley Cup winners touring Peace Country schools this week, Q99 FM
Sept. 12, 2016  Stanley Cup winners back for second tour of Peace Region schools, 2day FM
Sept. 11, 2016  FNMI hockey-themed school tours returning to PWPSD, Daily Herald Tribune
June 27, 2016  Horse Lake First Nation honours student achievements, Daily Herald Tribune

June 21, 2016  Peace Region celebrating 20th National Aboriginal Day, 2day FM

June 21, 2016  Tuesday is National Aboriginal Day, Big Country 93.1 FM
June 21, 2016  Local events coming up for National Aboriginal Day, Q99 FM
Mar. 08, 2016  Aboriginal youth honoured at Spirit Seekers Youth Conference, 2day FM
Mar. 02, 2016  Spirit Seekers Youth Conference this weekend in GPRC, Q99 FM
Mar. 02, 2016  Spirit Seekers Youth Conference this weekend in GPRC, Big Country 93.1 FM
Sept. 25, 2015  FNMI TV figures offer advice to students, 2day FM
Sept. 23, 2015  Hurteau, Cardinal meeting with Peace Country kids, Big Country 93.1 FM
Sept. 18, 2015  More FNMI role models visiting Peace region schools, 2day FM
Sept. 18, 2015  Lorne Cardinal, Monique Hurteau to tour PWPSD schools, Q99 Live
Sept. 17, 2015  Cardinal, Hurteau to visit PWPSD schools next week, Big Country 93.1 FM
Apr. 06, 2015  Hythe snack program gets funding boost, Daily Herald Tribune
Mar. 09, 2015  Aboriginal youth role models recognized, Daily Herald Tribune
Oct. 30, 2014  Duo shares culture with students, Daily Herald Tribune