July 4, 2022
Originally published: May 26, 2022 — Indigenous students from all over the District along with education staff and families filled the Church in the Valley on May 19, 2022. The Langley School District’s Aboriginal Education Program hosted its 10th Annual Aboriginal Achievement Awards. It was a powerful evening to celebrate Indigenous students in K-12 schools and honour them for their accomplishments. Some of the award categories included academics, athletics, fine arts, and “warrior,” which is an honour for a “student who shows courage and strength in the face of adversity.” This year there were 332 recipients.
As part of the evening, special recognition is given to the “Golden Eagles.” A golden eagle is “a student who will (in your professional judgement) have completed the requirements for graduation by the end of this school year.” The District is proudly celebrating the 115 golden eagles who will be ending their secondary career and moving on to their next phase in life.
“It’s a chance for us to come together in community and be together. It’s a chance for them to see their support workers that they’ve worked with throughout the years to really kind of have that culmination of their journey and through the education system, and it’s a way for the program to recognize their incredible work and how proud we are of them for their achievement,” says Mike Pue, District Principal of Aboriginal Education.
Prior to the formal ceremony, the golden eagles were blanketed by Aboriginal Support Workers, which is a show of respect in Indigenous culture. During the ceremony, the students took part in a procession around the room and were honoured on stage in front of all of their peers and family members.
“I think first and foremost, I hope our students have an incredible sense of pride in being who they are and their accomplishment. They need to recognize that they played a big role in coming to this event and getting to this point in their journey,” says Pue.
“I also hope that they take that moment to recognize all the support they’ve had over the years, whether it be from school staffs, from families, from the community, and specifically from the program,” he adds.