Dr. Blanca Schorcht from the University of Northern British Columbia is at School District 27 headquarters teaching an English literature 120 course to a full class.
It’s a course on Canadian First Nations literature, and she explained that most of the students are taking the course as part of the Tsilhqot’n National Government language and culture program.
“It’s a full three-credit academic course,” Schorcht said. “These students need to take at least two English courses as part of their First Nations diploma because it’s required by the teacher regulation branch if they want to go into language teaching later.
“This is the second time the course has been offered in Williams Lake. We did it through the ‘weekend university’ a few years back. In this format it’s condensed to six weeks.”
Two of the students are working on a full degree program, and the rest are working on a two-year diploma. “The diploma students can ‘ladder’ to a full degree program at any time with what they’ve taken here,” Schorcht added.
This is the halfway point of the course, which features First Nations authors – poetry, short stories, personal narratives and novels. “This class is awesome,” one student said. “Right now we’re working on poetry and personal narrative.”