Fort Qu’Appelle, SK — A delegation of First Nations leaders from across Saskatchewan, along with Youth Nation Builders from schools in the Treaty Education Alliance, are set to appear in Ottawa on February 25th, 2020 to share their vision for a new First Nations education system for the member First Nations of the Treaty Education Alliance.
The youth were invited to make a presentation to the Indigenous Senators’ of Canada. Together, they will share on the importance of a school system rooted in Inherent and Treaty Rights, focusing on key aspects such as language, culture, traditional knowledge, health, family, and identity.
The Treaty Education Alliance views this national event as an opportunity to raise awareness of, and build support for, their goal to negotiate an agreement with Canada to build a new education system. This new system will provide opportunities to nurture and develop children and youth as Nations Builders of their respective First Nations.
Each of the students attending the event will have an opportunity to present their unique assets, stories, and personalities, along with visions for the future of their Nations.
Sheena Koops, Nation Builder Advocate within the Treaty Education Alliance, has worked closely with the youth travelling to Ottawa over the past two years, and sees incredible growth in those who have embraced the program.
“We see students finding their voice, specifically around who they are and where they come from,” said Koops. “This trip to Ottawa gives our youth a chance to stand up and share what is important to them.”
Chief Brian Standingready, Special Advisor to the TEA Board of Directors, sees great importance in the ongoing negotiations with the federal government, including this delegation to Ottawa.
“What the TEA is proposing is a plan to develop their own education authority, based on a rich history that isn’t taught in the provincial curriculum,” said Standingready. “Our students are special. They have unique needs. They have specific requirements when it comes to mental health, nutrition, and specific challenges in their families.”
The Treaty Education Alliance currently works with five First Nation member schools, with staff bringing expertise in the areas of the early years, literacy and numeracy, Nation Builder engagement, Learning the Land, community engagement, Indigenous pedagogy, special needs programming, digital literacy, and online learning.
As part of negotiations, Treaty Education Alliance is seeking to create and implement a comprehensive system that will require a significant resource investment and commitment by Canada. Treaty Education Alliance leadership is firm in their belief that this commitment is long overdue, and necessary in this era of reconciliation; the benefits have potential to be far-reaching and significant to Canada through improved learning and life success outcomes for First Nations children and youth.
For more information on the Treaty Education Alliance, please visit https://www.educationalliance.ca.
For interview requests, please contact Chief Nathan Pasap at (306) 575-8208, or Lori Whiteman (306) 550-5770.