NSITEP celebrates graduates

Valerie G. Barnes Connell/Northern Advocate The NSTIP Graduating class of 2024.

The Northern Saskatchewan Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NSITEP) celebrated the graduation of 16 newly-minted teachers at the Jonas Roberts Memorial Community Centre (JRMCC) Friday, May 24.

Each graduate entered the hall in a procession to take their seats on the stage to begin the ceremony.

They received congratulations from Dr. Morris Cook, NSITEP Director; Dr. James Nahachewsky, on behalf of the University of Regina, the degree accreditor for the NSITEP program; and Chief Tammy Coo-Searson.

Grads were presented with gifts from NSITEP; and Métis sashes.

Chief and Council of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) all wrapped each grad in a ceremonial Star Blanket. 

Special awards were presented throughout the ceremony. Malachi McKenzie received the 2nd Annual NISTEP iskotēw Community Fires award, presented by Julius Park.

The Order of Gabriel Dumont Bronze Medal was presented to third-year student, Betty Ann Durocher.

For several years, Nancy Lafleur, a former educator with NSITEP, through her, in partnership with her husband, Glenn Lafleur, company, Cree8ive Cree-ations, has sewn beautiful skirts, raffled them off to raise money in support of different organizations. She also created the annual Strength and Perseverance Award, which is presented annually to a NSITEP student at the Graduation.

Valerie G. Barnes Connell/Northern Advocate
Nancy Lafleur shared the story of the dragon fly with the crowd before presenting the Strength and Perseverance Award to Eva Ross during the Northern Saskatchewan Indigenous Teacher Education Program on May 24. For more on this story, please see page 11.

This year’s recipient is Eva Ross, of Hall Lake.

Celebrations ended with a supper catered by Cravings Late Night Foods. 

NSTIP Graduates for 2024: Erin Aubichon; Brittany Bird; Ada Bran Roque, Great Distinction;  Karrie-Lee Charles; Sandra Halkett; Janine Iron, Distinction; Faith McCallum; Leah McCallum; Malachi McKenzie, Distinction; Kory Mirasty; Cherata Natomagan; Jane Roberts, Distinction; Eva Ross; Melissa Ross; Tanya Ross; and Georgette Sanderson, Distinction.

NSITEP was brought together through a partnership between the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI), the University of Regina and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) and is just completing its fifth year of preparing teachers to work in schools across the north and beyond.