About Chalo School
Chalo School is owned and operated by the Fort Nelson First Nation. The school also maintains Independent School status in the province of British Columbia. The school follows the prescribed curriculum of the Ministry of Education, and became the first First Nation school accredited by the Ministry in 1993. Our school was again accredited by the Ministry in 2000. In 2004 Chalo School became the first school Certified by the First Nations Education Steering Committee. In 2003/2004 Chalo School was recognized as one of ten exemplary schools for Aboriginal education in Western Canada and the Yukon. In 2006 Chalo School was recognized in the House of Commons as a role model for B.C. and for the country.
The school enrolls over 150 pupils from preschool four year olds to grade twelve. In April 2006, the Nation opened its new four million dollar high school complete with a cultural arts room and a culinary arts program. The school has a staff of thirteen teachers and a support staff of eleven. Exceptional leadership, coupled with Fort Nelson First Nation’s vision for a Strong, Healthy, Proud, and Self-reliant community, guides our exemplary school.
The school is located 7 km south of Fort Nelson, just off of the Alaska Highway. Chalo School has been featured in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, CBC radio interviews, and by the Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education.
Chalo School was established in 1982, and is named after Harry “Chalo” Dickie. Harry always promoted education for the Fort Nelson First Nation. He served as a member of the Board, the Council, as Chief and was the first member of the Fort Nelson First Nation to serve as a Trustee of School District 81. Harry was also the first, First Nation school trustee in the province of British Columbia.
Carole Corcoran was Harry and Adeline’s daughter. She also shared in her father’s belief in education. She worked with her friend Sue Gower to create Chalo School. Carole was a preschool teacher at the time, and then moved on to become a lawyer. Carol’s list of accomplishments is long, from her term as Band Councillor, to her appointments with the Royal Commission on Canada’s Future, the B.C. Treaty Commission and the U.N.B.C. Board of Governors. Carole passed away well before her time, in 2001, but Chalo’s halls are forever warmed with bright and shining memories.
"Our spiritual beliefs and traditions are important to who we are because they shape our values and our children."
- p. 50 of Reaching For Our Vision