A Moricetown school for at-risk First Nations students was in the spotlight last week after a video it posted online went viral.
More than 23,000 people have viewed the iCount High School video, which outlines the school’s story and its unique approach to helping troubled First Nations students thrive at school.
iCount teacher Dale Cutler, who has been with the school since it started in 2012, made the video to present at a Smithers District Chamber of Commerce luncheon held on Nov. 20.
He said the school makes a lot of videos about its individual projects but he wanted to give the chamber the full story.
“The reason for putting the video together was I could show it to anybody and they would know who we are,” he said.
The film explains the school’s origins and its highlights to date, including winning a national video competition for First Nations schools and a visit from then National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo.
Atleo also wore an iCount T-shirt on stage in front of tens of thousands of people at the WE Day youth event at Roger’s Stadium in Vancouver last year, where he pointed out the students who had travelled from Moricetown to attend.
At the chamber luncheon in Smithers, the audience was so moved by the film it responded with a standing ovation.
Chamber manager Heather Gallagher said some people were moved to tears.
“It was so powerful and the people were so moved by it and so impressed that it just moved everybody to their feet and there was large applause,” she said.
The chamber invited the school to present at the luncheon after it made it made a big impression as a finalist in this year’s Community and Business Awards public service category.
Although Tourism Smithers was the winner on the night, Gallagher said the chamber wanted to give the school an opportunity to share its story.
“Anything that motivates children to learn and every model that’s so successful should be shared so we were pleased to invite them in,” she said.
On Nov. 24 the school posted the video online and shared it on social media.
Within 24 hours it had been watched thousands of times, and at the time of print more than 850 people had shared the video.
To watch the video, entitled “Innovative First Nations School in Northern BC”, visit the I Count High School Facebook page.