Kumtuks Alternate Program for Native Indian Students

Year Published:  1980
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX1081

Kumtuks, The Chinook word for "to teach" or "to learn", is an alternate school for native Indian students. The program began in 1976 when native Indian home-school workers, concerned about the poor school performance of native Indians, made a proposal to the Vancouver School Board.

Like any school, Kumtuks provides classes e.g. English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education. This facilitates the integration of students into secondary programs when they are ready. Integration follows a four step progression: an elective, an elective plus a regular course, a half day, total integration. An ongoing support team follows each student during integration.

Unique elements of the program are its emphsis on native Indian culture and urban skills devleopment. The rationale here is to inform and improve the student's self concept. Indian cultural studies replace the usual social studies program each day and emphasize the tribes represented in the Kumtuks program. Students are exposed to organizations and individuals active in the Vancouver native Indian scene. They also practise native crafts, eg. moccasin making, beadwork. Cultural comparisons through direct contact with specific ethnic bodies, e.g. East Indians, Chinese, also help the student to appreciate the multicultural nature of the city.

The two-room school is administered by Templetion Secondary School and has a ceiling of 20 students. Staff includes a child care worker for homeschooling liaison.

This organization no longer exists.
This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1980.

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