Catholic Division and PBCN propose partnership for education

Daily Herald File Photo

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) are teaming up to apply for a grant to support students.

They are submitting a proposal to the province as part of the Invitational Shared Services Initiative (ISSI). The ISSI develops partnerships between First Nation education authorities and provincial school systems.

“That’s a great news story with Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation,” education director Lorel Trumier said. “We do have many of their students in our system and we were able to strike an agreement (and) submit our application for the Invitational Shared Services initiative, so we’re going to cross our fingers. That will also support some of the initiatives that we’re trying to do.”

The ISSI proposal was submitted on April 14 and the division was notified in late May that the maximum application limit was reduced from $100,000 to $80,000. They resubmitted the application on June 2 to reflect the updated ministry financial criteria.

The division is partnering with PBCN for the application because 78 per cent of Prince Albert Catholic students who live on reserve while attending school in the division are PBCN members.

The ISSI is part of the provincial government’s response and ongoing commitment to the recommendations found in the Joint Task Force on Improving Education and Employment Outcomes for First Nations and Metis People.

ISSI partners collaborate to construct and implement a plan to improve outcomes for First Nations Students living on-reserve attending provincial schools. Every school division in the province was invited to submit ISSI applications.

In addition to improving outcomes, the project application must also be mutually beneficial to both parties, not already be funded by other sources, address one of the Inspiring Success Framework goals, and respond to one of the TRC Calls to Action.

The ISSI supports the division’s Strategic Plan in the areas of Inspiring Success, instruction and assessment and mental health and well-being.

Trumier said Inspiring Success is a Ministry of Education policy which has the intent to support First Nations students in a way that supports their knowledge.

“So, for example, land-based kinds of learning and holistic learning, that’s what the inspiring success does,” she said. “It’s a policy framework that we’re going to use to support our students.”

The goal of the application is to create an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with PBCN and connect students to heritage and culture.

“These are the children in our community and we’re proud to support those kinds of shared initiatives,” Trumier said. “I think it just makes good sense.”

The division expects to be notified of the outcome by the end of June.