Teacher who developed Aboriginal history curriculum receives CTF Outstanding Aboriginal Educator Award

July 11, 2013

Ottawa… An assistant principal from Edmonton, Alberta, has received the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF)’s Outstanding Aboriginal Educator Award. The Aspen Program’s Shaun Hains, Ph.D., who has supported Aboriginal students and developed Aboriginal education for more than 30 years, was nominated for the award by the Alberta Teachers’ Association. Though the award was presented to Mrs. Hains last month at the ATA Annual Representative Assembly, the announcement was shared with national teacher leaders at the CTF Annual General Meeting taking place in Ottawa this week.

“I believe that Aboriginal people have a certain lens to see certain gifts, and we share that lens with our colleagues,” said Mrs. Hains, who is also trained as a psychologist. “I was able to really listen to students who wanted to learn.

“When I heard (about my award), my first response was I cried, literally, and I thought of all the Aboriginal teachers out there and I thought of my family. It’s an honour.”

Last year’s winner of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Council’s Outstanding Aboriginal Educator in Alberta Award, Mrs. Hains collaborated with Alberta Education to develop the Aboriginal portion of the Alberta curriculum. She also achieved 100% retention of native students at W. P. Wagner High School in 2001. Over the past 20 years, she has piloted and researched teaching strategies to facilitate learning for both Aboriginal and special needs students.

“Seeing Mrs. Hains’s nomination made the decision easy,” said CTF President Paul Taillefer. “Her work has benefited not only Aboriginal students and special needs students, but all students in Edmonton.”

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation is an alliance of nearly 200,000 elementary and secondary educators from 16 organizations, 15 Members and one Affiliate Member, across Canada. Follow the CTF on Twitter: @CanTeachersFed and @EnseigneCanada.

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Spokesperson:

CTF President Paul Taillefer

Contact: Francine Filion, Director of Communications, 613-688-4314 (office) or 613-899-4247 (cell)