The Circle of Courage is a model in which all young people can grow and flourish. (Jack Hirose and Associates, The Neufeld Institute, accessed June 2019) The model is comprised of the following four areas considered essential for building strong and resilient youth:
Belonging - creating an environment in which students see themselves and feel a connection to, when they are away from home
Mastery - providing opportunities for rich contextual learning, leading to excellence and success
Independence - empowering students with the confidence to make
and support all youth in fulfilling their optimum potential. I had the great pleasure of presenting
my learning from the conference to a group of Foothills School Division teachers and
administrators during our February System Learning Day. During this session participants
had an opportunity to explore ways in which this model could be applied to their particular
Pictured left to right: Philomene, Cassandra and Virgle Stephens
Eden Valley hosts Longview School as students and staff join together to celebrate and share Indigenous culture. June 4, 2019
Tylie JimmyJohn sits in front of the Star Quilt displayed in the Main Foyer at Oilfields School.The blanket was created by Eden Valley community member Penny Rider. Star Quilts have replaced the buffalo robe as a symbol of giving and generosity. The quilts are created to mark important milestones and are often shared at traditional ceremonies and cultural events.
Oilfields School students Rainbow and Josie Lefthand, Erica Johnston, Tylie JimmyJohn and Elshia JimmyJohn were part of FSD’s February System Learning Day at Ecole Secondaire Foothills Composite High School.
Students prepared traditional Indigenous dishes to share with session participants and shared the Circle of Courage model.
Cindy Watts, Learning Commons Facilitator, runs a Musical Circle session during the lunch break. Cindy shared that “music creates a culture of community” at Oilfields School.
Chet Musgrove, Darald Lavallie and Tim Hasiuk present the 2019 Circle of Courage award.
Circle of Courage Award Criteria- Oilfields School
The circle is a sacred symbol of life ... Individual parts within the circle connect with every other; and what happens to one, or what one part does, affects all within the circle.
The circle of courage is a model of learning that uses the circle and stresses 4 fundamental needs of all children in order to flourish: belonging, independence, generosity and mastery.
Oilfields has always in some way incorporated these principles in our teaching, but we are now creating a newly named award that will be given each year to students who exhibit these qualities.
(The Circle of Courage Award, Oilfields High, 2019)
Michelle Alberts, Physical Education teacher at Highwood High,
was “impressed with her students’ level of engagement and risk taking” as they learned a new dance and performed it for their peers. Shirley Hill also brought many Indigenous cultural artifacts along with her and spent time prior to the dance instruction teaching students about Indigenous ways of knowing.
Shirley Hill teaches Highwood students Indigenous dance.
Shirley Hill (Anatsipi’kssaakii – Pretty Sound Bird Woman) is the daughter of Kurt Hill and the late Rosa Ross. Her father is originally from Frankfurt, Germany and her late mom was from Siksika Nation. Shirley has a beautiful daughter and a sixteen year old grandson. She has been dancing for over 36 years, and loves to teach fancy shawl dance, teach beading class and craft-making. Shirley currently teaches beading at Mount Royal University, is an accredited Powwow dance teacher who works with Niitsitapi Learning Centre, various schools with the Calgary Board of Education, and Pathways Community Services.