Saskatoon Public Schools commit to teaching Metis history
- NC Raine | January 31, 2018
Saskatoon Public Schools have committed to make Metis history a fundamental area of study for their students.
Representatives from the Central Urban Metis Federation Inc (CUMFI) and Saskatoon Public Schools signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Westmount Community School on Tuesday, committing to the education of Metis culture and history in all public schools in the division.
“The signing of this MOU with the public school board will ensure that Metis culture and history will continue to be taught in the public school system,” said Shirley Isbister, CUMFI President.
“We want our children to have a strong sense of pride in their culture while haviing a meaningful learning experience where they will be able to learn, grow, and connect in the spirit of reconciliation,” she said.
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The MOU outlines several intended outcomes, including providing education to support self-determination and holistic well-being of Metis people, fostering mutual respect for all people in their identity development, increasing graduation rates, offer programs and to increase the knowledge of Metis history and the culture competencies of all staff.
“Students have benefitted from our long-standing relationship wiht CUMFI, which has allowed us to bring important lessestion and educational experiences about Metis culture and history,” said Ray Morrison, Chair for Saskatoon Public Schools.
“Advancing our collaboration will help the school division in the important work to realize reconciliation for all our students,” he said.
With a gymnasium full of students at Westmount Community School, the only Metis designated school in Saskatoon, both officials spoke to the importance of diversity in a healthy community.
“Our school division believes in lifting up our young people. We have the means and opportunities to make a difference in students' lives, and want to ensure all students are provided with fair opportunity to succeed,” said Morrison.
Echoing his message, Isbister added that initiatives like this will help to eliminate racism from our younger and future generations.
“I believe that if we celebrate diversity and each embraces who they are in their culture, that that's how we're going to begin to work on eliminating racism,” said Isbister. “Children aren't born racist, we make them that way. We need to look at the spirit of reconciliation and how we can get children to learn about each others cultures, and celebrate them.”