Rocky Mountain School District No. 6


Facilitated by Rocky Mountain School District's District Principal/Vice Principal Team, this learning series is intended to explore the powerful connections between Indigenous knowledge and the Learning Pathways, with a specific focus on Numeracy.  

Kari Mason, District Vice Principal of Learning Support Services

In collaboration with Learning Services Teachers and classroom teachers, Kari assists in the development of Individual Education Plans and programming supports, including Student Response Plans, conducting and assisting school teams with Functional Behavioural Assessments and Behavioural Intervention Plans, and the provision of job embedded support.


Glenn Goslin, District Principal of Early Learning

Glenn Goslin became the District Principal of Early Learning in September 2022. He works with teachers and administrators to support the learning within kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms. Much of the work is based around the Revised BC Early Learning framework and focusses on play and the pedagogical narration cycle.


Jenna Jasek, District Vice Principal of Indigenous Learning and Equity

Jenna became the District Vice-Principal of Indigenous Learning and Equity in the 2021-2022 school year. Within her role, she strives to bring understanding and change through Truth and Reconciliation, partnering with the Secwépemc, Ktunaxa and Métis people and continued learning and teachings.


Darren Danyluk, District Principal of Literacy

Darren returned to SD 6 for the 2022-23 school year as the District Principal of Literacy. Drawing upon more than 25 years of school-based leadership, he supports principals and educators across the system in their efforts to understand and meet the literacy needs of our students. 


Kristin Insull, District Vice Principal of Numeracy

From assessment design to instructional practice and everything in between, Kristin supports the District in all things numeracy.  She is pleased to have landed here in 2021, having escaped the frigid winters and bird-sized mosquitoes in Manitoba.


If the embedded form does not load, click here.  

September 18 (Golden); September 26 (Kimberley); October 10 (Windermere)

Framed by the Indigenous story of The Three Sisters, we took the first steps in exploring the relationship between Indigenous knowledge and numeracy.   

Specifically, the version of the Indigenous story of The Three Sisters as in Braiding Sweetgrass (pages 128 to 140), or Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults (pages 107 to 117), by Robin Wall Kimmerer was discussed.  The Primary group also used Strong Stories Kanyen’keha:ka: The Three Sisters by Michelle Corneau. 

There are many videos, such as this one, that tell the story as well.

The concept of Indigenous Storywork, and the seven principles, was presented, using two videos found here.  From the site:

The [...] two videos provide introductory information about Indigenous stories, their structure or framework, and protocols for using these stories. The videos pose considerations and guiding questions to get educators ready to work with Indigenous stories and Indigenous storytellers. These videos can help you become familiar with a story-place by spending time within it. A question to keep in mind is, What do I need to do first to get story-ready?

With regards to the seven principles, for example and specific to the story of The Three Sisters as shared by Wall Kimmerer and Corneau, we demonstrate respect by learning and sharing whose story it is (the cultural group and their geographic location), and by learning how to pronounce names and words included in the language of origin.  

The Three Sisters teaches us about reciprocity - between the earth and plants, between the plants themselves, and between humans, plants, and the earth.  

We also shared the concept of Etuaptmumk, or two-eyed seeing, having the Mi'kmaq people speak for themselves when explaining the importance of being able to hold both an observation grounded in western science, and one rooted in Indigenous Ways of Knowing, at the same time.  

These concepts - the preparation and work necessary to bring Indigenous stories into the classroom, and two-eyed seeing - were, and will continue to be, the foundation upon which we grow our understanding of connecting literacy, numeracy, and Indigenous knowledge.

Levelled tasks were shared as a way to guide the conversation.  You can view the tasks below.  Please note, these were prepared with an adult audience in mind and are not intended to be immediately classroom ready.  

Lesson Plan 3 Sisters Primary

Intermediate Task Three Sisters Garden Proposal

Secondary Task Three Sisters

October 26 (Kimberley); November 6 (Windermere); November 22 (Golden)

In this second session, we explored the principles of the Honorable Harvest, as shared on pages 153 to 175 of Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults.  Over dinner, we reviewed this video, that summarizes the Honorable Harvest, in addition to other topics related to concepts of land, land use, and our relationship to the land. 

In groups, we will discussed tenets of the Honorable Harvest as they apply to resource selection, strategies for supporting students with diverse abilities, media literacy, and hands-on ways to demonstrate numerate thinking.  


Session Three

February 20 AM Pro-D Day (Kimberley); February 22 (Golden); February 28 (Windermere)

February 20th in Kimberley only:

Grounded in lessons from Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults, adapted by Monique Gray Smith from Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, we will weave together Indigenous Ways of Knowing and curricular competencies, with a focus on surfacing numerate thinking. 

The Principles of Indigenous Storywork, Two-Eyed Seeing (Etuaptmumk), and the First Peoples’ Principles of Learning all guide this work as we respectfully bring Indigenous stories into our classrooms.  This important pre-work will also be discussed. 

An opportunity to explore and construct grade-level appropriate tasks will be included as part of this session. 

It is not necessary to have read either Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults, nor Braiding Sweetgrass.  Participants will receive a copy of Gray Smith’s adaptation. 

This session will be similar to the sessions previously offered by the District Principal/Vice Principal Team on September 26, and October 26, and is intended to replace the third evening session planned in Kimberley. 

Session Three 

The book What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? by Richard Van Camp inspires conversation about similarities and differences in our lived experiences, all while awing us with colourful, beautiful artwork.  

In this third session, we will use this story as an entry point to surfacing learning about attributes and characteristics, classification and sorting, connected directly to the land on which we live and work.  Noticing the world around us is relevant to all levels, and conversation will be leveled, if there are enough participants to make groups.

A copy of What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? will be provided for each school in attendance. 

Concluding Session

May 16 (Kimberley); May 22 (Golden); May 30 (Windermere)

Details to come!