Names chosen for new Saskatoon public schools
- EFN Staff | October 12, 2016
Following a vote at its latest meeting, the Saskatoon Board of Education has chosen the names for the four new public elementary schools in Saskatoon.
The names are:
- Sylvia Fedoruk School – new school in Evergreen
- Ernest Lindner School – new school in Hampton Village
- Colette Bourgonje School – new school in Rosewood
- Chief Whitecap School – new school in Stonebridge
“Our board of trustees has chosen to honour four admirable individuals who have made incredible contributions to our community. The legacy of each of these four individuals represents the priorities of our school division, not to mention that they set an inspiring example for the students who will learn and grow in these new schools,” said Board Chair Ray Morrison.
See below for bios of Métis Paralympian Colette Bougonje and Chief Whitecap.
Public consultation with the new school communities resulted in many names being suggested, along with written and oral submissions from the public. Following research by division administration, board members deliberated and chose the four names.
“Sylvia Fedoruk was not only a pioneering female physicist, but also a selfless community advocate and successful athlete. Ernest Lindner is the father of arts education in Saskatoon Public Schools and a nationally recognized artist. Colette Bourgonje is the epitome of perseverance, having won 10 Paralympic medals and completing much of her training while a teacher with Saskatoon Public Schools. Chief Whitecap was one of the founders of Saskatoon and now, along with John Lake School, both founders are rightfully honoured,” said Morrison. “As advocates for public education being open to all, we feel these four names represent the diversity, strength and richness we value so much in our students.”
Colette Bourgonje is a 10-time Paralympic athlete and a former teacher with Saskatoon Public Schools. Bourgonje, who is Métis, won 10 Paralympic medals during her competitive career. She won six medals in Para-Nordic skiing, including a silver and bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics when she was the first Canadian to win a Paralympic medal on home soil. Bourgonje competed as a wheelchair racer during three Summer Paralympics, winning two bronze medals at both the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics and the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics. In the spring of 1980, Bourgonje was 18 and ready to graduate from Grade 12 when she was injured in a vehicle accident near her hometown of Porcupine Plain. That fall, she became the first physically disabled student to enroll in the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Physical Education. Four years later, she was the first disabled student to graduate from the college and the first female student in a wheelchair to graduate from a physical education program at any Canadian university. She followed up with a Bachelor of Education degree from the U of S. From 1989 to 2010, Bourgonje worked for Saskatoon Public Schools as an elementary physical education and classroom teacher on a half-time basis, while continuing her training and competition schedule. Bourgonje worked at Silverwood Heights, Prince Philip, Brunskill, Lakeview and Fairhaven schools before turning her attention to training full-time. Bourgonje was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame in 2010. She lives and substitute teaches part-time in the Prince Albert area. She coaches crosscountry skiing to physically challenged individuals and is an advocate for being active and pursuing sport.
Chief Whitecap (Wa Pa Ha Ska) is recognized as a co-founder of the city of Saskatoon and played a vital role in building the important relationship between the Dakota people and the European settlers. Chief Whitecap led the Dakota people to the Saskatchewan area in the early 1860s to escape political turmoil in Minnesota. However, the Dakota people had occupied areas of Canada for centuries. By the end of the 1860s, they were living in a territory that reached south and west to the Cypress Hills and north to the North Saskatchewan River. In 1879, Chief Whitecap and his people settled on a newly created reservation located approximately 26 kilometres south of present-day Saskatoon, where the Whitecap Dakota people established friendships and alliances with the region’s Métis and settler communities. In 1882, Chief Whitecap advised John Lake on the best location along the South Saskatchewan River for the establishment of Lake’s temperance colony that would grow to become Saskatoon. During the Riel Resistance of 1885, Chief Whitecap ensured that the young community of Saskatoon was protected. He, along with members of his community, travelled with the Métis to Batoche in order to provide guidance. Although he was arrested for treason, Chief Whitecap was acquitted based in part by settler testimony that he had always been honest and loyal to the Crown. Chief Whitecap, who died in 1889, created a bond between the people of the Dakota First Nation and neighbouring communities.