District celebrates 2022 Indigenous Role Models (PHOTOS)

April 29, 2022

The Abbotsford School District and the Mamel’awt Indigenous Education Centre are proud to announce the 2022 Indigenous Role Models. 

The Indigenous Education Advisory Committee reviewed applications submitted this fall by several remarkable grade 12 Indigenous students from secondary schools throughout the district. These students are acknowledged for connecting to their culture, leadership, and service in their schools and communities, and for their aspirations towards future goals. 

“Our Knowledge Keeper, Dr. Gwendolyn Point, has taught us that by highlighting these young people as Indigenous Role Models, we stand them up, encourage them to take their place in society, and blanket them with the support of their community,” said Darlene MacDonald, District Principal for Indigenous Education. "Our hope is that these students remember this day as they move forward on their journey.  We are immensely proud of each of them. These graduates represent the hope we have in the future.” 

The 2022 Indigenous Role Models include: 

  • Adam Pallick from Robert Bateman Secondary School has an enthusiasm for Indigenous culture and mental health. He plans to continue learning, working, and eventually move into a management position with his current employer. 
  • Avery Federspiel from Rick Hansen Secondary School is a strong school-based Indigenous leader and plans to attend UBC or UVIC with hopes of becoming a secondary school teacher. 
  • Madison Chaplin from Abbotsford Senior Secondary has a passion for amplifying Indigenous voices. She plans to obtain her Kinesiology degree and will continue to be involved with Indigenous programs. 
  • Janae Delorme from Abbotsford Senior Secondary is passionate about embracing her culture. She intends to pursue a path of helping others and making a difference each and every day. 
  • Paige Collins from Yale Secondary is an Indigenous leader who loves fine arts and plans to attend Emily Carr to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  
  • Rodney Legare from Yale Secondary plans to continue to learn about his Métis culture and attend UFV trades to become a mechanic and earn his Red Seal. 
  • Blaise Morin from W J Mouat Secondary has a profound connection to his community through his drumming and will be attending the Justice Institute of BC to earn a Security License. 
  • Sasha Lambert from W J Mouat Secondary has a passion for mathematics and learning. He plans to attend UBC and aims to eventually major in computer science. 

We hope the stories these students have shared will inspire both our current students and future Indigenous Role Models. With gratitude to the Teachers, Indigenous Support Workers, Elders, and family members who walked alongside these students on their educational journeys as they take their next steps into adulthood. Congratulations to the Abbotsford School District's 2022 Indigenous Role Models! 

2022 Indigenous Role Model Honouring Ceremony

On April 27, 2022, at Abbotsford Arts Centre, the Mamele’awt Community Indigenous Education Centre honoured the 2022 Indigenous Role Models. Before entering, Role Models were covered with a blanket as a way of claiming the students, giving them a warm hug, and helping them on their journey forward, along with a headband to remind them to have good thoughts and a good mind. Chris Silver, Councillor of Semá:th First Nation began the Ceremony with a welcoming song and explained the importance of the Ceremony. Mr. Perry Smith, Director of Curriculum, was the traditional speaker and further explained the meaning of the day and how protocols are in place to ensure the Ceremony is done well, with a good heart and a good mind. Students were brought in by Tyrone Thomas, Jessi Old Coyote, and Tlatsemot leading in an honouring song as the students were brought forward into the space. Each student was honoured on stage by either their Indigenous Support Worker or Teacher for Indigenous Success, who expressed each student's hard work, dedication to culture, and future goals which brought them to be honoured as Role Models. The day was filled with gratitude and inspiration as we celebrate these students' accomplishments. The Honouring Ceremony was live-streamed and can be viewed on the Abbotsford School District YouTube page.

Watch Honouring Ceremony

About the Abbotsford School District’s Indigenous Role Models Program 

Established in 2002, the Abbotsford School District’s Indigenous Role Models Program was established as a means to celebrate Indigenous graduates who have a purposeful plan beyond graduation. These students are recognized for connecting to their culture, leadership, service in their schools and communities, and for their aspirations towards future goals. To date, approximately 48 students from the school district have been recognized in this program.