Danita Lewis

Since 2011 Danita Lewis has taught in SD72 as a District Indigenous Culture Teacher and expo teacher at Southgate Middle School. She is of Dene ancestry from the Cold Lake First Nations, but has made the Comox Valley her home since 1989. In 2011, Danita created a culture, language and traditions education program that is offered to grade 6 and 7 students at the middle school. The curriculum was developed by Danita in consultation with local indigenous peoples and is delivered to hundreds of both indigenous and non-indigenous students each year. Students who have taken the course report appreciating the hands on approach, and the social style of learning.  Through this course students are experiencing a deep, transformative learning and Indigenous culture is more evident and celebrated by the entire school. The programs’ success has led Ms. Lewis to speak at National Professional development events sharing her knowledge with other educators. Her work on this course has been recognized nationally by the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative as an Inspiring Approach to First Nation, Metis and Inuit learning and most recently the recipient of the national award for language, culture and tradition by INDSPIRE. Danita is one of ten recipients to receive the national 2017 ‘Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator’ Award.