First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

June 11, 2012 11:49 ET

Leadership Position to Strengthen Aboriginal Education

WEST VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 11, 2012) - Aboriginal students throughout B.C. will be better supported to achieve their best, and educational partners will have a dedicated aboriginal leader to work with through the new superintendent position created by the Ministry of Education.

DeDe DeRose, who has more than 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, principal and advocate, has accepted the role as the Ministry's Superintendent of Aboriginal Achievement. She is scheduled to begin August 1, 2012. She is Secwepempc and a member of the Esketemc First Nation.

DeRose will work closely with the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and other educational partners to identify priorities that can best support improvements to Aboriginal achievement. This will include work within school districts and could also include the redesign and development of Ministry curriculum and assessment programs.

DeRose's role will help build personalized learning opportunities for Aboriginal students, maintain community partnerships and provide leadership to help strengthen Aboriginal completion rates and rural education. She will also review and work to address issues facing aboriginal students and will support improvements to Aboriginal strategies and enhancement agreements.

The superintendent position will report directly to the Ministry's superintendent of learning. It is supported through the goals of BC's Education Plan, which aim to improve personalized learning opportunities and give students more flexible learning options and resources.

The First Nations Education Steering Committee ( is an independent society committed to improving education for all First Nations learners in BC. It is directed by representatives of First Nations communities.


George Abbott, Minister of Education

"B.C. has seen tremendous improvement in achievement and completion rates for Aboriginal students over the past 10 years, but there's still a noticeable gap between Aboriginal students and non-Aboriginal students. DeDe will provide exceptional leadership to help identify opportunities and best practices that will further improve Aboriginal achievement in B.C."

DeDe DeRose, Superintendent of Aboriginal Achievement

"I'm excited to take on this new and challenging role, and also look forward to working with students, school staff and educational partners so we can support new learning environments and also recognize and address key issues facing aboriginal education."

Tyrone McNeil, President of First Nations Education Steering Committee

"We all want improved outcomes for Aboriginal students, and this is a shared responsibility. DeDe will facilitate this shared responsibility, bring new leadership for Aboriginal students and also become a key liaison with FNESC."

Quick Facts:

  • DeRose was the first Aboriginal principal in the Kamloops North-Thompson school district (SD 73).
  • DeRose has served as a member of the B.C. Principals and Vice-principals Association. She has also been a member of a Ministry steering committee for a research study on B.C. teachers of Aboriginal ancestry.
  • During her career, DeRose has advocated for the inclusion of Aboriginal languages, cross curriculum inclusion of Aboriginal history and culture and genuine involvement from parents, caregivers and communities in her schools. She served as the first Aboriginal educator on the former BC College of Teachers for more than eight years.
  • The Province has invested $63 million - $1,160 incremental per student who self identifies as being of Aboriginal ancestry - into Aboriginal education in 2011-12.
  • Aboriginal students make up 11 per cent (63,899) of the total B.C. public school population.
  • From 2006-07 to 2010-11, the six-year completion rate for Aboriginal students has risen in B.C. from 47.3 per cent to 53.7 per cent. The six-year completion rate for Aboriginal children in care is 34 per cent.
  • 2,908 Aboriginal students graduated from public schools in 2010-11, an increase of 131 per cent increase since 2000-2001.

Contact Information