Building a First Nations Education System from the Ground Up

Michael Cottrell, Faculty, Department of Educational Administration, College of Education
Shane Henry, PhD Candidate, Department of Educational Administration, College of Education
Terrance Pelletier, PhD Candidate, Department of Educational Administration, College of Education
University of Saskatchewan

PROGRAM SUMMARY: In this presentation we provide an overview of efforts on behalf of Saskatoon Tribal Council, an aggregation of seven First Nations in central Saskatchewan, Canada, to strengthen the delivery of education in its primarily rural First Nation schools over the past five years. We describe the extensive consultations with community members and educators to determine what an effectively governed and meaningful system of education for First Nations learners would look like. We also discuss initiatives to create a First Nations education system which would enable First Nations jurisdiction and secure adequate and predictable funding within a changing federal education policy context. Our presentation highlights the capacity of Indigenous peoples to create innovative governance and administrative arrangements to meet new educational challenges and opportunities in rural contexts.

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