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Get to know your Burnaby school board candidates: Mikelle Sasakamoose

'As a First Nations woman and parent, I want to bring a diverse voice to our school board – one that has never been heard there before.'
Mikelle Sasakamoose (Burnaby Citizens Association) is running for Burnaby school board this October.

Name and pronouns?

Mikelle Sasakamoose (she/her)

Tell us about yourself: (max. 100 words):

I am Cree, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, and Syilx. I was born and raised on my reserve in Kamloops and grew up in the shadow of the residential school that many of my family members attended. I am a long-time federal public servant, and I have lived in Burnaby for more than a decade with my husband and our three children, one who graduated from a Burnaby school and two who still go to school here. We have two cats and I spend all my free time cheering my girls on at the soccer field.

Why are you running for school board? (max. 50 words)

As a First Nations woman and parent, I want to bring a diverse voice to our school board – one that has never been heard there before. And I want people to see that it’s possible for traditionally marginalized peoples to have a voice at these tables. Representation matters.

What do you think the current school board has done well? Where has it missed the mark? (max. 50 words)

The SOGI policy shows their support for all students and their commitment to making our school communities safe and inclusive places. Now, we must work together to make sure it isn’t just a rule to be followed, but that it becomes a part of the culture in our schools.

What are the top three issues facing the next school board? (max. 50 words):

  • Responding to the results of the district Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion Survey.
  • Supporting creative and innovative teacher and staff career development opportunities.
  • Reflecting a diverse student population.

How do you plan to address those issues? (max. 150 words)

Collaborating with students, teachers, staff and families to co-develop informed and relevant solutions and strategies.

Working with teachers and support staff to develop and implement their recommendations to contribute to a collaborative and supportive learning and working environment.

Recruiting and retaining a diverse teaching staff that reflects the student population.

And, just for fun: If you got to spend one full day in school again, what grade would you return to and why? (max. 25 words):

Grade 10. We grew so much that year and had so much fun. High school wasn’t always easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Where can voters find out more about you? (e.g. social media, website)