Colette Trudeau, for trustee.
Director of operations.
• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:
I have over nine years of experience working for Métis Nation British Columbia, which represents nearly 90,000 self-identified Métis people in B.C. and is the provincially and federally recognized governing organization for Métis in B.C. Previously, I held the position of director of youth, where I supported the creation of a ‘Youth Act,’ which entrenched youth governance in MNBC’s constitution. I also facilitated open discussion about Métis youth issues and challenges to find solutions through governance and policy. I have gained considerable experience developing, managing and monitoring diverse programs for youth in Kindergarten to Grade 12 and post-secondary in B.C., while focusing on addressing inequities.
I currently volunteer my time as a board member for the Mamele’awt Qweesome/To’o Housing Society, which provides affordable housing and support services primarily for Aboriginal people in the Fraser Valley. I am also a table member for the Off-Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan Provincial Coordination team, which is comprised of senior officials from Aboriginal organizations and government to identify and develop initiatives that could be implemented province-wide and the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Council, which aims to building and strengthening relationships at all levels of the community so as to improve the economic participation, educational attainment, and health outcomes.
• Reason for running:
I am the proud auntie of a School District No. 42 student who accesses Aboriginal programming and the wife of the volunteer head football coach at Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary School. My family has become so entrenched in the school district that I’ve had the opportunity to witness where we’re falling short. I am not entering this race naively. I understand the challenges that exist when working with government funding and mandates.
I want to be a voice for change and use the skills I’ve acquired in governance, advocacy and engagement to give back to my community.
• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?
Public education funding: Over this next four year term, the Board of Education will be navigating a potential new public education funding model as well as a new SD 42 collective agreement with our teachers.
I will ensure that our Board of Education is forward thinking by advocating for adequate public education funding from the Ministry of Education so that we have sufficient resources available for salaries and important programs and resources for our students.
Inclusion and equity in schools: Student achievement will improve when barriers to inclusion are identified and removed and when all students are respected and see themselves reflected in their learning environment. Inclusion means looking carefully at each child’s needs and analyzing the support they require to reach their full potential. There is no one size fits all.
I will advocate for ample resources, which include technology, physical materials and resource people, that teachers can easily access. Through effective policy, everyone in the school community will benefits from an environment that is safe, accepting, and respectful.