A Red Deer teacher has received a provincial award for infusing Indigenous culture into the classroom.
Terry Lakey, a teacher with Red Deer Public Schools’ Learning Services, has been awarded the Outstanding Indigenous Educator Award from the Alberta Teachers’ Association – Indigenous Education Council.
“It was very exciting and I feel honoured to receive this award,” Lakey said, adding his inspiration comes from his mother.
“I remember the day I told my mom I was going to be a teacher. She was over the moon because mom, being an Indian Residential School survivor, was looking forward to me making the educational experience for children way better than what she experienced. I owe everything to her and her dedication to us as her six children that she raised.”
Lakey is in his 25th year of teaching and has been in his current role at Red Deer Public Schools for the last five years, where he develops First Nations, Métis and Inuit classroom resources. He is also sought after outside the division to provide in-services and help develop resources in other school divisions across the province.
“We help develop curriculum, form relationships with elders and partners in our community, find resources for staff so they feel they are supported when it comes to presenting authentic and accurate information as it relates to their programs of studies at the grade levels they teach,” he said.
“It’s all connected to what is taught in the classroom.”
Lakey said there are many aspects about his job that he loves.
“My role allows me to exercise my creativity and to be able to provide staff or a student with resources I have developed or found through talking to an elder or knowledge keeper is really great. To have the permission to pass things on is a highlight of my job,” he said.
Hayley Christen, Learning Services co-ordinator, said Lakey is passionate and dedicated to making learning hands-on, fun and engaging for students.
“He works extremely hard to ensure the lessons, resources and projects he brings to life connect authentic Indigenous voice to the identified outcome in the programs of study. He is well respected by Elders, knowledge keepers and others in the Indigenous community,” Christen said.
“I am inspired by his passion for his work and for the students and staff he serves. It is my honour and privilege to get to work and learn alongside Terry each day.”
Chad Erickson, RDPS superintendent, said Lakey’s recognition is very deserving.