Profiles of Aboriginal Educators banner

Corey Kapilik

May 2016

B Corey Kapilik photo

  • Home Community:
  • Cultural Identity:
  • Current Position:
    Coordinator of Indigenous Education, Louis Riel School Division
  • Education/Training:

    Bachelor of Education,
    University of Winnipeg

    Post Bach in Indigenous Education, University of Manitoba

  • Roles/Responsibilty:

    Assist The Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) in the development and implementation of the provincial and divisional, legislation, policies, procedures, and curriculum regarding Indigenous Education.

    Provide mentorship and training
    to LRSD staff on the adoption of Indigenous Education curriculum and programming.

    Develop, promote, and coordinate Indigenous Education programming in the division.

“ Love is powerful. We need to show love, empathy, and compassion to everyone we teach, work alongside, and come in contact with.”

What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
The most significant challenge in my life was when my daughter Chelsea was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) at the age of two. LCH is a rare cancer that affects 1 in 250,000 children. For three years there was a lot of uncertainty and we spent a lot of time at Cancer Care Manitoba for diagnosis, treatment, and testing. Today Chelsea is a healthy 11 year-old who is on a competitive gymnastics team, creative, loves school, and loves life. What she went through was the worst way to meet the best people in the world and learn a lot about life and what is important. So many people in my professional and personal life showed my family and myself tremendous love and support. Everyone is on their own journey and we don’t know what people are dealing with. Love is powerful. We need to show love, empathy, and compassion to everyone we teach, work alongside, and come in contact with.

What or who inspired you to really go after the profession you are
in now?

Throughout my career and in my personal life I have been inspired by so many different people who have helped and guided me. I have been very fortunate to have Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers in my life. Manitoba is a special place with a lot of diversity in Indigenous culture. Our Elders and leaders in the province are doing so much and are so willing to share with and help guide us. These are exciting times in Indigenous Education and I am proud to work in a school division and province that are doing amazing things and moving forward in a dynamic and courageous way for the benefit of all students.

I also get my inspiration from the students I have worked with throughout my career. I have met so many amazing young people who have overcome so much. Just recently, the Louis Riel School Division held a Youth Leadership Conference called “Our Road to ReconciliACTION” at the Indian Metis Friendship Centre. This conference was created and led by a group of 28 Indigenous students representing all our high schools. We began meeting regularly in September and explored together who we are and what we would like students in LRSD to know about Indigenous culture, our shared history, and moving forward as Canadians in reconciliation. To see these students be proud in their culture and who they are, and as leaders among their peers is what it is all about. Anytime I can have a part of helping students find their voice and connecting to their culture in an authentic way, I am inspired.

What critical choices or decisions did you make that helped you get where you are today?
Early on in my teaching career, I became passionate in working with Indigenous students and Indigenous Education. I focused on learning all I could about culture, history, and curriculum infusion. This was also a journey of self-discovery and exploration of who I am as an Indigenous person. Today, I love what I do and continue to work to learn all I can about indigenous culture, spend time with Elders and leaders, and collaborate with amazing professionals who allow me to be a part of the work in their schools and classrooms.

Message of Encouragement:
The work we do is for the benefit of the children in our schools and in shaping new relationships among Canadians. There are so many great things happening throughout Manitoba. There is a long way to go but collectively we are making huge gains. The more we share and work together, the more we can accomplish and the more effective we can be.