School District 58 and five local bands have come together to enhance education.

The district joined with the Coldwater, Lower Nicola Upper Nicola, Nooaitch, and Shackan bands in signing a Local Education Agreement.

“This important document underpins the essential relationship between School District #58 and the local First Nations Communities of Coldwater, Lower Nicola, Nooaitch, Shackan and Upper Nicola,” reads a press release. “These relationships are grounded in the understanding that First Nations have a central role in the education of their students, regardless of where they attend school.”

The agreement essentially states that there must be a strong relationship between all parties in order to provide higher levels of education. Completion rates have been steadily rising over the last five years, reaching an all-time high in the 2018-19 school year at 89%.

“This could not have been realized without the understanding that First Nation Students must have access to educational opportunities that ensure they are confident in their self identity, families, communities, traditional values, language, culture, and academic success,” continues the release.

The slogan for the agreement reads “Success for ALL Learners: Today and Tomorrow.”

Each local band created their own messages for the signed agreement, with topics ranging from preserving culture, enhancing quality of life, health and wellness, and community involvement.

The agreement can be viewed by visiting SD58’s website and looking under “What’s New.”