Prince Albert school divisions receive truth and reconciliation funding

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division and Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division will both receive $5,000 in provincial funding to advance truth and reconciliation education.

Each of the province’s 27 school divisions will receive funding, along with one partnership school and one qualified independent school. Those efforts will cost the province around $140,000.

“These grants represent our government’s commitment to advancing reconciliation in our communities,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said in a release.

“We are pleased to see these grants support collaboration and education on important topics, such as Indigenous histories, languages, arts, cultures and way of knowing as we continue on the path to healing.”

The schools will use the funds to collaborate with local Indigenous communities and organizations. The resulting programs or classes will be implemented throughout the 2021-22 school year.

Schools and school divisions were encouraged to apply for this new one-time grant when it was launched on Orange Shirt Day.

The funds were awarded to initiatives that forward reconciliation in Saskatchewan schools and communities. These initiatives include an Indigenous healing project, Indigenous education training, Indigenous land-based learning, learning and promoting local Indigenous languages, a land acknowledgement project, Indigenous ceremony and traditional knowledge projects and Indigenous arts projects.

Locally, the Prince Albert Catholic School Division will collaborate with cultural leaders in the Indigenous community to develop a learning resource on treaty relationships and truth and reconciliation.

Saskatchewan Rivers School Division will collaborate with Wahpeton Dakota Nation and Muskoday First Nation to present an acquisition training opportunity for teachers to acquire the essential knowledge and skills they need to become more efficient speakers in Dakota language and Cree language.

The Government of Saskatchewan said in the release that they are committed to reconciliation, as well as understanding the ongoing impact Canada’s residential school system has on Indigenous communities.

These grants provide students with an opportunity to learn about and from this tragic part of our shared history.