Guess who's hitting the books in aboriginal studies class

Record numbers of students at Edmonton's Centre High Campus are enrolling in the Aboriginal studies program this year. It's not just Aboriginal students showing interest in the class which it was originally intended for.

Record numbers of non-aboriginal students taking aboriginal studies at Edmonton high school

Record numbers of students at Edmonton's Centre High Campus are enrolling in the Aboriginal Studies program this year. 

And it's not just aboriginal students showing interest in the class. The program, initially designed for the school's  indigenous students, has grown so fast that today more than half the kids are non-aboriginal.

"I think its really important to know who really settled this land first and to learn how to respect their culture," said Forest Caissie. 

Forest said he grew up alongside many Aboriginal people but little was taught throughout his school years about Aboriginal issues before this class. He is one of 90 students enrolled, more than double the original class number. 

Naim Cardinal, the school's First Nations, Metís and Inuit liason worker, is.pleased that so many non-aboriginal students are signing up for the class.

"Not enough people are getting this type of education in the school system and it's creating a misunderstanding of Aboriginal people in our country."

"We have sharing circles and participate in different cultural events," said teacher Adam Ambrozy,  who pointed out the cultural components makes the class hands-n.

"I just felt interested … especially that I'm Aboriginal," said student Paige L'Hirondelle who said the course will teach her cultural sensitivity skills needed to achieve her dream of becoming a social worker. 

Forest Caissie feels what he will learn in this class will be valuable as he pursues a career in teaching.

CBC Edmonton