Spelling policy requested

  • Apr. 4, 2012 6:00 a.m.

School trustees have decided to turn to the Haida Education Council for guidance after receiving a request from the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program. The elders who attend the Skidegate program wrote to the school district last month, asking that it write a policy around standardizing the program’s Haida orthography (spelling) for use at Sk’aadgaa Naay Elementary and Queen Charlotte Secondary schools. The elders also asked that the school board work together with them to review a proposal about the hiring and training of young Skidegate Haida language speakers. Superintendent Angus Wilson told trustees at the March 27 board meeting that a possible orthographic policy could be, for example, that teachers and Haida elders working in the two schools must use the spelling provided by SHIP. Trustees had some questions about how such a policy would work and how it would be enforced. Masset trustee Sharon Matthews said while she wanted to see the district working with Skidegate, she did not want to make a quick decision about this important issue. “I think we’re jumping the gun, I don’t feel comfortable about this,” she said. After some discussion, trustees voted to refer SHIP’s requests to the Haida Education Council for its input and recommendation. The Haida Education Council is made up of representatives from the Skidegate and Old Massett band councils, the Council of the Haida Nation, and the school district. Its responsibilities include advising the school district about all Haida education programs.

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