Integrating Indigenous culture and perspectives
into everyday learning

SelfDesign works to advance the journey towards reconciliation by building cultural bridges to Indigenous ways of being, seeing and knowing throughout our educational programs and offerings.

Our efforts are driven by the recommendations put forward in 2017 by SelfDesign’s Indigenous education task force, which comprised a First Nations elder, a First Nations SelfDesign parent and learner, and SelfDesign educators with Indigenous heritage.

Our commitment to reconciliation

SelfDesign is part of a nationwide network of schools seeking to further reconciliation.

As part of our commitment to furthering reconciliation and intercultural understanding and respect, SelfDesign Learning Community became a member of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack foundation’s Legacy School network in 2019, joining a community of more than 1,600 legacy schools across Canada and linking to funding, educational resources and opportunities that advance reconciliation.

The Legacy School network is a national initiative that engages, empowers and connects students and educators to further reconciliation through awareness, education, connection, and action.

Our territorial acknowledgement

It is with gratitude that the SelfDesign community respectfully acknowledges the many traditional, ancestral, unceded and treaty territories that we learn and grow on throughout this diverse continent. We honor and thank the many Nations whose voices and footsteps have marked this territory for millenia in recognition of their continued stewardship of the land. We also look forward to many collaborations and meaningful exchanges to create a shared vision for the future.

Our approach

How we support our learners

We integrate the First Peoples Principles of Learning into our work, programs and learning opportunities.
We carefully curate authentic resources to help learners explore and understand Indigenous ways of being, seeing and knowing.
We provide grants for Indigenous learners to connect with and learn about their cultures and languages.
We offer learners opportunities to connect with Indigenous Elders, traditional knowledge keepers, Indigenous educators and each other.

Our family acknowledges the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Secwepemcúl’ecw (Secwépemc) First Nation on which we are learning and living each day.

– SelfDesign Parent

First Peoples Principles: A foundation for everyday learning and program design

We work to integrate the First Peoples Principles of Learning into every aspect of our work and educational programs. We use the principles as a starting point to help shape how we approach learning, support learners, develop curriculum, learning resources and opportunities, and communicate with learners, families and other community members.


We work with Indigenous elders, traditional knowledge keepers and Indigenous educators, families and youth to identify and curate authentic learning resources that explore, draw upon and reflect the diverse and rich cultures and perspectives of Canada’s many Indigenous peoples. Our learners can access these resources through the SelfDesign Learning Experience Library, digital subscriptions, theme and group workshops and offerings, and at our events and camps.


We integrate the First Peoples Principles of Learning into orientation and training for all of our BC certified educators at the start of every learning year. Workshops, guest speakers and learning opportunities offered throughout the year help our educators deepen their understanding and awareness of these principles and the journey towards reconciliation.


Our learners and families have access to learning opportunities, discussions and hands-on explorations through programs, themes, courses, and events. We recognize learning happens through relationships with others, and we work to offer opportunities throughout the year for learners to connect with Indigenous elders, traditional knowledge keepers and each other as they explore and grow their understanding of Indigenous ways of being and knowing.