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July 19, 2023
NORTH BAY — Jade Goulais and Laura Lasalle are the first to graduate from St. Joseph-Scollard Hall Catholic Secondary School with a Specialist High Skills Major for Indigenous Studies. The graduates received their diplomas on the Capitol Centre stage on June 15.
Their teacher Tory Fisher of Nipissing First Nation wrote the curriculum for the courses for the Indigenous Studies major and teaches the courses. Fisher just finished singing in North Bay and was on the pow wow trail when he explained the new major available to high school students.
“Specialist High Skills Major is a variety of different courses for an individual pathway for students. Under the Specialist High Skills Major for Indigenous Studies, it’s under arts and culture. We have a First Nation, Métis, and Inuit curriculum,” Fisher notes. “They need to take a number of courses at the senior level Grades 11 and 12. And then they need to get three certificates, like first aid, CPR, or leadership. We do all of the instruction in-house and then the students have to do a co-op with an Indigenous organization. This way, it allows for them to learn their language and culture in the school. Also, they set themselves up for pathways for the workplace, a trade, college, or university.”