Education and Training

Mission

The Education and Training Secretariat is committed to strengthening First Nation communities by supporting education through Treaty-based, community-developed and driven strategies that provide engaging, successful life-long learning opportunities to our peoples.

Our vision is Treaty funded, Treaty-based, holistic, quality education for First Nations that begins within the family unit, including early childhood, Kindergarten to grade twelve, adult education and training, and post-secondary education. The responsibility for decision-making is with autonomous First Nations, in a properly funded education system, whereby parents, Elders, professionals and leaders at the community, tribal and regional levels come together to plan and implement their children’s successful education.

Role 

The Education and Training Secretariat works to advance the governance agenda directed by the Saskatchewan Indian Education and Training Commission (SIETC) and to support the First Nations Education organizations that implement the Inherent and Treaty Right to Education in the region now called Saskatchewan.

Responsibilities

  • Consultation, coordination, management and reporting for specific provincial and national education initiatives
  • Organization and facilitation of regional forums: Directors of Education Table; Post- Secondary Education Coordinators Forum
  • Provision of technical and administrative support to the SIETC
  • Provision of technical support to the Chiefs Legislative Assemblies
  • Saskatchewan representation to the National Indian Education Committee (NIEC) of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN)
  • Provision of technical support to the Saskatchewan representative on the AFN Chiefs Committee on Education (CCOE);
  • Provision of technical support within the FSIN on various regional issues and initiatives that impact or are impacted by First Nations education.

First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy Summer Work Experience Program

The First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program, is funded under the INAC First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES). FSIN receives funding for the administration of this program. The program allows FSIN to participate in the program by giving continuing university students a summer work experience opportunity with one of the FSIN Secretariats’. At the FSIN, the Education & Training Secretariat administers/coordinates the program.

FNIYES Objectives:

  • To help youth acquire career-building skills by providing wage subsidies for their summer work experience
  • To assist youth to learn increased career professionalism and to prepare for future entry into the labour market

Eligible Participants
First Nations and Inuit post-secondary students aged 15 to 30 ordinarily resident on-reserve or in recognized communities or on community lands who were registered as full-time students during the preceding academic year and who intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the following academic year.

The main objectives of the Summer Work Experience Program are to:

  • Provide students with work opportunities, preferably in their chosen field, that will give them valuable experience for future employability
  • Provide an opportunity for personal and professional development to each participant
  • Provide work experience and training skills

How to Apply:
If students are interested in applying for one of the positions, send your resumes to the FSIN by May 15thAnnually.

Attention: Human Resources Office
Fax: 306-665-0478
Email:hr.info@fsin.com

For more information please contact:
Rhonda Bluehorn
Education and Training Secretariat
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
Suite 100 – 103A,
Packham Avenue Saskatoon, SK,
S7N 4K4

Phone: (306) 956-6901
Email:rhonda.bluehorn@fsin.com

Science, Math and Technology

The Science, Math and Technology Outreach Program, delivers varied educational opportunities for K-12 students at the First Nations community level. This program promotes careers in Science, Math and Technologies through mobile education for schools and Science Fairs at the Tribal Council level. The Program Coordinator also assists the Ministry of Education to develop policies and curricula that enhance learning in Science, Math and Technology for First Nations students during their Kindergarten through Grade 12 education. Traditional knowledge and the infusion of First Nations content, perspectives and ways of knowing informs the development and delivery of program initiatives.

Goals:

  • Promoting science, math and technology to First Nation youth.
  • Inspire, and involve First Nation youth in promoting traditional knowledge, and ways of knowing by reconnecting them to land based cultural teachings through active participation with the Traditional Knowledge Keeper’s, and Elder’s within their respective communities;
  • Inspire, and inform First Nation youth by promoting science, math and technological career choices ;
  • Promoting Traditional Perspectives and Ways of Knowing in science, math and technology;
  • Encouraging students to enrol in the senior science, math and technology courses;
  • Encouraging community involvement in science, math and technology education and career awareness;

Background

Science and Math Outreach is the only program run by FSIN Education and Training, as the mandate of the Secretariat is to advocate for and protect the implementation of the Inherent and Treaty Right to Education. Part of the responsibility to these rights is to ensure quality programs that respond to the ever-changing needs of the world in which we live, are available. 

The October 2012 release of the provincial government’s Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond points out that the continuation of the province’s dynamic decade will require the addition of 60,000 new workers by 2020 if the province is to meet its population target of 1.2 million.

 It has been reported by Herbert Emery from the University of Calgary in the report titled, Labour Shortages in Saskatchewan (January 2013), that “…Saskatchewan, with its booming economy, could be facing a worker shortage so severe that it could drastically hobble the province’s ultimate economic potential. While the world craves only more of Saskatchewan’s abundant natural resources, the province won’t possibly be able to keep up, due to a scarcity of workers that could be as significant as one-fifth of the labour supply by 2020.” He recommends that Saskatchewan resist hiring temporary foreign workers and focus on First Nations and Metis people who already choose to live here.

 Dr. Eric Howe, Economist at the University of Saskatchewan, in his report titled, Employment of First Nations People: Saskatchewan Lags Behind, reminds us that First Nations people made up 11.5% of Saskatchewan’s population in 2012 and will make up approximately 15.7% by 2031. Presently only 1% of the First Nations of labour force age work in renewable resource extraction which is the fastest growing sector of the booming Saskatchewan economy. Math and Science education is very important to the employment of First Nations people. Howe advocates for the education, training and ongoing support to First Nations so that a more representative workforce can be built and maintained.

Presently in each fiscal year, the Science and Math Consultant conducts:
Science Career Festivals (10) with various presenters;
School Mobile Visits (20 or more) targeting grades K-12 with hands-on science activities with students from each grade;
Science Fairs – students compete in their communities with the winners attending the Provincial First Nations Science Fair in March each year.
Canada Wide Science Fair – The provincial winners attended this national science fair for the past two years
National Aboriginal Science Camp: 5 different students between the ages of 12 to 15 are also chosen from the Saskatchewan First Nations Science Fair to attend the national science camp which is held in different regions each year.

The most pressing issue in the Science and Math program at this time is that there is not enough capacity to properly support the First Nations Education Organizations. With a single consultant, each of the 84 First Nation schools is able to experience a Science or Math event once every two and one half years. With the necessity for additional attention to be given to Math and Science education and the need to support our teachers, it would be valuable to increase staffing to accommodate additional school visits. 

For more information please contact:
Deloris Netmaker
Executive Director – Education
Education and Training Secretariat
Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations

100-103A Packham Avenue
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 4K4

Treaty Right to Education Medals

The FSIN Education and Training Secretariat is pleased to announce in an ongoing effort to commemorate our Graduating Grade 12 First Nations students on-reserve, we will provide the Treaty Right to Education Medals annually.  The medals are replicas of the original Treaty Medal cast bearing the inscription “Education is a Treaty Right and graduation 2013.” On the back of the medal is the FSIN logo.  We strive to have the presentation of these medals done by the FSIN Executive, FSIN Education & Training Staff or other FSIN Representatives. 

The scroll accompanying the Medals will say the following:

Treaty Right to Education

The Treaty Right to Education medal, presented to all First Nations high school graduates, reminds us of a valuable gift from our Elders. The British Crown and the Indian leaders living in the region now called Saskatchewan, signed Treaty #2 in 1871, #4 in 1874, #6 in 1876, #8 in 1899 and #10 in 1906. Our ancestors agreed with the Crown to share some of our territories with the Crown’s subjects so that they could live in peace and friendship for “as long as the sun shines, the river flows and the grass grows”.

Each Treaty includes a clause stating that the Crown will provide education to Indian people. These Treaties now obligate Canada, the successor state, to provide life-long learning to Indian signatories and their descendants. The Treaty Right to Education is a powerful tool to help our people to succeed, to achieve our goals and to be strong Nations.

On one side of the medal is the picture of the original Treaty medal given by the Crown to our ancestors at the time the treaties were made. It shows the Crown’s representative shaking hands with one of the Chiefs. A war club is laid to rest at his feet. This is a long lasting symbol of the peace and friendship requested by the Crown’s representative and granted by our Ancestors. In return for getting peace, the Crown guaranteed Treaty Rights that include the provision of education. This long held right continues to each generation and for all time.

The subjects of the Crown are still living in our territories in peace and friendship. The descendants of the Treaty makers are still here. And the treaties are still alive. The signatories saw that future generations needed to be protected by the Treaties. Those Elders thought about the young people of today and tomorrow. It is important that we continue to think of all the generations yet unborn and provide for them as well. This Treaty Right to Education medal symbolizes not only our Treaty Right to Education, but also our responsibility to ourselves to use the gifts the Creator gave us. It reminds us that the Treaty Right to Education exists as an opportunity negotiated by our ancestors more than a hundred years ago.

For more information please contact:
Rhonda Bluehorn

Education and Training Secretariat
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
Suite 100 – 103A, Packham Avenue
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 4K4
Phone: (306) 956-6901
Email: rhonda.bluehorn@fsin.com