Kw’umut Lelum, in collaboration with Nanaimo Ladysmith Schools Foundation (NLSF) and the Mastercard Foundation has partnered with the Cowichan Valley School District to support Indigenous learners and their families in Cowichan Valley. The “Staying Connected to Education” initiative provides access to support their online education, and also keeps them better connected to the services and social supports they need.
The initiative, originally launched in June, allows Cowichan Valley School District to identify families in need in and oversee the distribution of devices and connection to supports to ensure they get to students who need them most. The District plans to distribute 132 iPads, Cases and Keyboards to Indigenous students in grades 8 and 9 at Quamichan School, Frances Kelsey Secondary, Chemainus Secondary School, Lake Cowichan and The Grove Distance Learning school.
“It is wonderful for all of our partners to come together for this iPad purchase. Putting reliable technology in the hands of students who need it is crucial to their educational journey," says Robyn Gray, Superintendent of Cowichan Valley School District. "Ensuring equitable access to all of our programs is a priority of the district, and we are grateful to our partners for their support in ensuring that happens.”
While this program will help to address some of the inequities experienced by Indigenous students and their families, it is clear that more effort is required to support cultural, social, educational and recreational access for Indigenous children and families in BC. Kw’umut Lelum is exploring philanthropic opportunities through establishment of a KL Foundation that will serve to increase the accessibility and equity of programs and services for Indigenous people.