On December 11, 2017, Math 101 students held a mini Math Fair, presenting their posters which reflected the Indigenization of mathematics concepts. (see photos above)
The concept of Indigenization is identified as “one of the University’s two overarching areas of emphasis” within the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan (https://www.uregina.ca/strategic-plan/priorities/indigenization.html). Depending upon the definition consulted, Indigenization may or may not be considered the work of settler/immigrant Canadians for it involves first-hand revitalizations of First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages, legal systems, and ceremonies, among many other aspects. Indigenization, however, lies in relation with decolonization and thereby challenges all Canadians to work at disrupting and changing current institutions and systems, including those educational. Thus, as a doctoral candidate of mathematics education, Shana Graham has been studying Indigenization and decolonization so as to inform her dissertation research which involves (re)imagining possibilities for mathematics education.
The idea for the implementation of a Mathematics 101 final project as poster and Mini Math Fair was informed by Show Me Your Math: Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities, a program developed by Dr. Lisa Lunney-Borden and Dr. David Wagner (http://showmeyourmath.ca/). While a final poster project is not unusual within education courses, it is unique to a Mathematics 101 course. Decolonization, however, encourages considerations of context/community, which for this particular mathematics course involved only preservice teachers from the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP-Regina). Thus, in adapting/decolonizing curricula for context/community, the arguments presented for changing the Mathematics 101 final evaluation from exam to project were accepted by Dr. Shaun Fallat, Head of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. The support of Dr. Fallat and the Dean of Science, Dr. Farenick, need be acknowledged for reconciliatory acts may not otherwise be possible without the support of such powerful individuals.
On November 8 and 9, 2017, Teacher Education Programs’ faculty, directors, and program heads (SUNTEP, ITEP, NTEP, and YNTEP) gathered together for an Indigenous Knowledge Exchange. This was the first time the TEPs came together since 2008, when several TEPs gathered to discuss Indigenous ways of knowing.
Hosted by the University of Regina, Faculty of Education, the Indigenous Knowledge Exchange gathering “provided an opportunity for participants to advance and strengthen relationships between one another, engage in transformative Indigenous education, and collaborate and plan for the future,” says SUNTEP Regina coordinator, Janice R. Thompson. Thompson was involved in the organization and planning along with Associate Dean, Dr. Val Mulholland, Associate Dean’s Assistant, Wanneta Martin, and Acting Dean of Education, Dr. Andrea Sterzuk, along with others who assisted with this event.
The day was hosted by Janice R. Thompson and began with opening prayers by SUNTEP Regina’s, Erma Taylor and opening remarks by Acting Dean, Dr. Andrea Sterzuk. Chairman of the GDI Board of Governors, Dr. Earl Cook, brought opening greetings on behalf of Gabriel Dumont Institute. Dr. Sherry Farrell-Racette, professor in the Department of Visual Arts, MAP, brought a keynote.
Over the course of two days, the group explored themes that emerged such as “similarities and differences between the TEP programs and establishing a safe space for us to examine our work,” says Thompson. Scheduled theme discussions included TEP’s philosophy and TRC Calls to Action, Indigenous pedagogy and research (land-based pedagogy), language development and preservation, and successes and challenges.
Thompson says, “This invaluable two-day experience continued to demonstrate our commitment to Indigenous teacher training in the academy, and we are humbled by this. We look forward to gathering in the near future, and not another ten year wait!”
On Thursday July 27, 2017, over 40 people attended the Gabriel Dumont Institute-University of Regina Master of Education graduation BBQ at Kachur Golf Club in Prince Albert. The warm summer day event included conversations, laughter, and reflections in celebration of the graduation by the second cohort of the Master of Education program.
The Class of 2017 had 21 graduates including Chris Kelly, Christian Hudon, Dianne Broome, Chantale Fetch, Ashley Grimard, Jamie Subchyshyn, Janelle Hudon, Jean-Marc Belliveau, Katherine Burak, and Charmain Laroque. Others included Lauriane Hudon, Marti White, Matt Gray, Chantal Ntbategera, Renae Semkiw, Renee Kurbis, Rylan Michalchuk, Sandra Lawless, Steven Korecki, Trevor Rutz, and Victor Thunderchild.
According to Christian Hudon, “The program has been wonderful. I love it. Joining the program was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my professional life.” Charmain Laroque described the master of education program as “Absolutely great program,” and Chantal Ntbategera called it “Nice program.”
Marti White Stavely, a teacher at the Saskatchewan Rivers Public Schools, stated that: “I absolutely loved the program. It is the best professional development experience ever.” She continued, “I recommended the program to a few people; some of them got admission and have started their master of education studies this summer.”
Dianne Broome called the program “excellent.” Dianne noted that “The MEd program made a huge difference in my personal and professional growth. The content delivery was amazing. The cohort system that encouraged collaboration among students has been fantastic. I learned just as much from the professors as I did from my classmates.” Dianne who is a teacher in Prince Albert said that she had always wanted to enroll in masters of education program ever since she graduated from SUNTEP Prince Albert in 2007. So, “When GDI started offering the program in Prince Albert and my friends and fellow teachers who had enrolled in the first cohort told me great things about it, I knew it was time for me to do my masters. My friends have families and they work full time, but they earned their master of education degrees. It was possible. And now, I have completed the MEd degree!”
One of graduates commented on how tightly-knit the group of students is, bound by ties of teaching in the Prince Albert and Area schools, family relations among students or between students and staff, as well as the fact that many of the students are SUNTEP graduates.
There was laughter when students, nominated by their colleagues, received such awards as “Award for My School is Better than Yours,” Award for Great Voice of Reason,” “Award for Where The Hell are My Glasses,” and “Fashionista Award.”
The master of education program coordinator Michael Relland received a standing ovation from the graduates who thanked him for his work. Cory McDougall, the GDI Director of Finance, described how Relland has been involved with the master of education program “from day one” and thanked him for his hard work dedication.
In his speech, Michael Relland noted that “Teachers are good human beings. We strive to do the right thing. But sometimes, we do not know what the right thing is or how to do it. I hope the Master of Education program has enabled you to learn what that right thing is and how to do it.”
Many graduates also thanked GDI and the University of Regina for bringing the program to Prince Albert. This made it easier for them to enroll in the program without having to relocate or drive long distance.
The GDI-University of Regina Community-Based Master of is a two-year cohort-based program offered at the Gabriel Dumont Institute Centre in Prince Albert. The program’s content themes are tailored to anticipate and respond to community and student needs including: educational leadership, Indigenous education, and curriculum and instruction. It links theory to local educational issues and practice, and employs a flexible course delivery, including weekend sessions, summer institutes, and online distance education. As well, it has a Program Coordinator to offer advice and support to students.
The master of education program admitted its first cohort of 25 students in the summer of 2013. Of the 25, 23 successfully completed the program in the summer of 2015 – a completion rate of 92%. A second cohort of 23 students commenced the master of education program in July 2015, of which 21 (91%) graduated in July 2017. A third cohort of 25 students started classes this month and are expected to graduate in the summer of 2019.
Student Success Celebration Photos (to view slide cursor over the photo and click on the arrow)
The Faculty of Education, along with partners SUNTEP Regina and YNTEP (via Skype), gathered to celebrate student success on March 7, 2017. The organizing committee from the Student Program Centre, Dr. Val Mulholland and Wanneta Martin, invited faculty from SUNTEP, YNTEP, and the Faculty of Education program chairs and student societies to forward names of students who have made contributions to learning and to leadership in the Faculty of Education through scholarship, activism, and engagement in coursework.
Dean Jennifer Tupper brought greetings, reminding students that their successes reflect the motto of our faculty: Inspiring and Transforming Education.
Students listed below were recognized by faculty members or student societies for having made a significant contribution to teaching, learning and/or leadership in their classes, field placements, or in the community.:
Marie Louise Malick
Jaylee Michel Matthew Mickleborough
Jayda Van Betuw
A Michif 100 language course is now being offered to Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) Regina students. SUNTEP Regina Coordinator Janice Thompson says, “What makes our program unique and distinct is that we are the first post-secondary institution to offer [the Michif] language course.”
Michif is the indigenous language of many Métis. However, “the Michif language which was once common in Métis communities is now considered an endangered language as there are fewer that 1000 people who speak it.”
Thompson says, “Offering the Michif 100 course continues to reaffirm our commitment to Métis people alongside our mission statement: to promote the renewal and development of Métis culture through research, materials development, collection and distribution of those materials and the design, development and delivery of Métis-specific educational programs and services.” The introduction of the new course was celebrated at the Student Success Celebration, held March 7, 2017.
Gabriel Dumont Institute – SUNTEP, in partnership with the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan, has been offering elementary teacher training for over 35 years and currently boasts 1206 graduates from Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert programs.
First year SUNTEP Regina student Jenny Veilleux says she feels “fortunate to be one of the first students in Canada to take a Michif class, which is the first one to be offered anywhere ever. Michif is a dying language, with few fluent speakers; it needs to be saved so it can flourish once again. My family was enfranchised in the 1950’s, which unfortunately means they assimilated into the European culture.”
Jenny continues: “Ultimately, they lost most of the languages that they were born to speak during the process. My grandparents spoke between 5-7Indigenous languages and Michif was one. I only grew up hearing phrases or words, never being fully immersed in the language. To be learning Michif now at my age, as an adult, is exciting, but also very difficult. Learning the language of my people is very important to me as it enhances more of what I’m learning about my traditions and culture. This is necessary for many people in Canada, to prevent it from being completely lost.”
The SUNTEP faculty, alumni, Elders, and guests gathered Friday May 6, 2016 to honour and celebrate this year’s SUNTEP graduates: Trenna Beauregard, Dalton Burzminski, Hannah Haydt, Taylor Pelletier, Chelsie Sinclair, and Alicia Reiss.
The evening, hosted at the Delta Regina, included entertainment provided by SUNTEP Alumna Alison Kimbley and the Seven Stone Steppers elementary school jigging club accompanied by Métis fiddler, Nathan Baker. The evening program included the First Nation drumming group, Napewsak, who sang an honour song for the graduates. The keynote address was given by Wendy Willis and awards were presented by Russell Fayant, and community Métis knowledge keepers Joe Welsh, Erma Taylor, and the Amyotte family. SUNTEP Executive Director Geordy McCaffery addressed the graduates as well. Greetings and congratulations were extended by Mike Cappello from the University Of Regina Faculty Of Education.
Chelsie Sinclair was honoured with a starblanket for the “Spirit of SUNTEP” award in recognition of her commitment to leadership and volunteerism within the community.
Dalton Burzminski was awarded the “David Amyotte Memorial Scholarship” to recognize his commitment to Indigenous education.
Third year student, Taylor Frei, was awarded the Lebret Métis Cultural Days Scholarship in recognition of his familial connections to Lebret as well as his commitment to teaching Métis culture through pre-internship.
The graduates chose to honour SUNTEP faculty member, Brenna Pacholko, with “The Order of the Sash.”
To end the evening each graduate was honoured with a Métis sash and a unique leather portfolio in acknowledgment of their hard work in accomplishing their Bachelor of Education degrees. SUNTEP is proud of each of the 2016 graduates for their contributions to education and the Métis community thus far and wishes them the best in their future endeavours.
Submitted by Brenna Pacholko, SUNTEP faculty member
On April 6, the Faculty of Education, SUNTEP and YNTEP gathered to celebrate student success. This year was different than previous years: The coordinators from the Student Program Centre, Dr. Val Mulholland, Nicole Glas, and Wendy Campbell, invited faculty from SUNTEP, YNTEP, and the various Faculty of Education programs and student societies to forward a list of students who have made contributions to learning and to leadership in the Faculty of Education through scholarship, activism, and engagement in coursework. In previous years, academic excellence was the only success that was celebrated. There were 166 students honoured at the celebration and their names were scrolled individually across the screen throughout the event.
Dr. Jennifer Tupper, Dr. Val Mulholland, and Dr. Michael Cappello highlighted and honoured not only the students’ achievements in their classes, but also in their field placements, and in the community.
After welcoming the students and their families, Dr. Val Mulholland said, “You have been recognized by faculty members or program for having made a significant contribution to teaching, learning and/or leadership in the classes, in field placements or beyond classroom walls.”
Dean Jennifer Tupper said, “This celebration is more than recognizing academic excellence, which we value. It is recognition of our students taking seriously their call to teach for a better world, to inspire and transform education – which many of you may know is the motto of this faculty.”
And after listing some of the amazing initiatives with which students have been involved, such as the STARS Regina’s #TreatyEdCamp, and other sessions working towards social justice; the Science Education students’ work with Treaty 4 schools; and the ESS’s PD opportunities, Dean Tupper said, “What I am struck by in my conversations with our teacher candidates is their passion for teaching and learning in the midst of the many challenges schools and teachers are facing. I am struck by their commitment to social justice, and their desire to create meaningful and transformative learning experiences for young people in schools. They are thoughtful, compassionate and courageous.”
Dr. Michael Cappello spoke about the students’ exceptional contributions which are helping to shape the field of education even before entering it as teachers.
Also unique to this celebration was the Skype connection with YNTEP students and faculty who are located in Whitehorse, Yukon. Through this connection, Faculty of Education and SUNTEP members were able to participate in the YNTEP celebration, and YNTEP students participated in the Regina celebration. Dr. Andrew Richardson, Dean of Applied Arts for Yukon College, spoke on behalf of YNTEP, recognizing the following YNTEP students:
The following is the list of Faculty of Education and SUNTEP students celebrated:
Jennifer Chyz (Hackl)
Amy Klassen (Thiessen)
Amber Learned Garritty
Jayda Van Betuw
From November 24 to 26, Yukon Native Teacher Education Program (YNTEP) representatives visited the University of Regina campus to discuss plans for renewed education programming and a new community-based Elementary Education After Degree Program offered in partnership with the University of Regina.
Tina Jules (Coordinator/Faculty Advisor) and Mark Connell (YNTEP Faculty Advisor) met with Dr. Val Mulholland (Associate Dean, Student Services and Undergraduate Programs, Faculty of Education) and Student Program Centre (SPC) staff, Nicole Glas (SPC Manager), Carol Shi (Assistant to the Associate Dean) and Wendy Campbell (Program Assistant – TEP Programs / Timetable); Dean Jennifer Tupper; Dr. Shauneen Pete (Executive Lead, Indigenization); and Dr. Xia Ji (Director of Field Experiences and Professional Development) as well as Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) Janice Thompson (Coordinator), to iron out details for the new and renewed programs.
With a full schedule, Tina and Mark also met with Dr. Angelina Weenie (First Nations University), Dr. Michael Cappello (ECS Courses), and attended JFEC. (Joint Field Experience Committee – comprised of the stakeholders, including southern SK school divisions, Ministry, SUNTEP, STF, Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board, Faculty of Education. JFEC meets semi-annually to review and to consult on policy governing field experiences in teacher education.)
They took in the sites at Lebret, SK with SUNTEP Faculty, and enjoyed the screening of the film, The Pass System, at the University of Regina, which YNTEP hopes to bring to the Yukon in February.
Though much was accomplished in terms of programming through the visit, in her farewell speech, Tina Jules spoke of the value of the relationships that have been formed as a result of the collaboration.
Photo Above (L-R): Back row: Xia Ji (Fac of Ed), Shauneen Pete (Fac of Ed/Indigenization), Tina Jules (YNTEP), Janice Thompson (SUNTEP), Kristina Lee (Fac of Ed), Wendy Campbell (Fac of Ed), Russell Fayant (SUNTEP), Mark Connell (YNTEP); Front row: Carol Shi (Fac of Ed), Nicole Glas (Fac of Ed), January Hutchison (Fac of Ed), Rechel Leonard (Fac of Ed), Dean Jennifer Tupper (Fac of Ed), Tamela Friesen (Fac of Ed), and Val Mulholland (Fac of Ed).
As part of their course work for ECCU 300 – Cross Cultural Teaching Strategies, with instructor Brenna Pacholko, SUNTEP students Rebecca Wiens and Lesley Hanson presented “TRC Recommendations: Indigenization Within Education” today in the Aboriginal Student Centre at the University of Regina.
Wiens grew up in a predominantly White town, where she did not learn about her Métis heritage and Hanson is from Sakimay First Nations, but was born and raised in Moose Jaw, and is closely acquainted with Indian Residential School (IRS) impacts, with a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother all having spent time in residential school. “If I was born fifty years earlier, it could have been me,” she says.
The two presenters outlined the work that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is doing, what the focus will be (truth AND reconciliation), and why it is important to Canadians, receiving feedback from the group about why it is important “to me.” Hanson shared that even though she didn’t attend a residential school, she still feels the impacts of the IRS: “The impact of residential school whether alcoholism, depression, or mental illness…hits home with me and my family.” Impacts are intergenerational, as survivors attempt to cope with their residential school experiences. A participant pointed out that so often people think that the impacts are only felt by Aboriginal people, but non-Aboriginal people are also impacted, whether they know it or not.
Starleigh encourages listeners to follow two hashtags on Twitter: #myreconciliation and #readthetrc
From the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action for Education and Reconciliation, Hanson and Wiens read Recommendations 62, 63, 64, and 65:
62. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators, to:
i. Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students.
ii. Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.
iii. Provide the necessary funding to Aboriginal schools to utilize Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in classrooms.
iv. Establish senior-level positions in government at the
assistant deputy minister level or higher dedicated to
63. Aboriginal content in education.63. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including:
i. Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools.
ii. Sharing information and best practices on teaching curriculum related to residential schools and Aboriginal history.
iii. Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.
iv. Identifying teacher-training needs relating to the above.
64. We call upon all levels of government that provide public funds to denominational schools to require such schools to provide an education on comparative religious studies, which must include a segment on Aboriginal spiritual beliefs and practices developed in collaboration with Aboriginal Elders.
65. We call upon the federal government, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, post-secondary institutions, and educators, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and its partner institutions, to establish a national research program with multi-year funding to advance understanding of reconciliation.
Then, Dr. Michael Cappello, guest speaker, offered a White settler perspective on the importance of the TRC Recommendations. Cappello says, “There are lots of ways our histories interweave: Stories are far beyond ‘us and them,’ and there are lots of reasons to take the TRC recommendations seriously.”
Cappello points out that the role of non-Aboriginal people is at the very least the role of witness: to attend, to serve, to witness, and to be present. Further, it is important that non-Aboriginal people educate themselves. “Everything that I know about racism comes from marginalized groups,” says Cappello. He does not think the burden of educating White settlers should be placed on Aboriginal peoples. At most, the White settler’s role is as a junior partner: “Our job is to listen and to respond, ‘Ok, here is Recommendation # 62; how should we do that?…’ White settler’s are not the leaders in this TRC project. I know my role, to legitimize, and I should be committed to doing,” he says.
Cappello emphasized the need to read the TRC. “If you are bored of reading on white paper, then listen to the TRC, which has been recorded on Youtube with Indigenous people reading the TRC in 8-minute segments.” (The first one is embedded below.)
In the final part of the presentation, Hanson and Wiens discuss the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) and mission, and how their classroom is indigenized, set up in a circle around the medicine wheel, along with Métis symbols in the classroom such as the Métis flag, Louis Riel, the Red River Cart, the Métis sash, and Michif language. Their program includes building relationships with each other, faculty, staff and elders; Indigenous perspectives; opportunities for learning Michif; and jigging. Though not directly stated, it is clear that the SUNTEP program is uniquely positioned in that it is already modeling the TRC Recommendations.
The presenters ended the presentation with a final question about the value of SUNTEP. Russell Fayant, a SUNTEP instructor, noted that along with the other suggestions (good foundation for teachers, educating next generation about their culture, and a way to decolonize), “SUNTEP has helped to produce a Métis middle class and activism is a privilege of the middle class.”
SUNTEP students Alicia Reiss and Daylyn Benoit presented a workshop entitled “Schools: Past, Present, and Future: Reflecting on Colonial History of the Past, Assessing our Current Education System, and Determining Strategies for Decolonization” on Tuesday, October 27. They began the presentation reflecting on their own experiences of negative stereotyping and essentialization in the education system, which prevented them from fully embracing their rich heritage and cultural identities as First Nation and Métis people.
After their reflections, Alicia and Daylyn conducted a workshop that gave participants the opportunity to post a card with aspects of either “Culturally Relevant” or “Critical Anti-Racist” education on their respective squares on the wall. This activity was presented to Alicia and Daylyn this past Friday at the SAFE conference in Saskatoon by Dr. Verna St. Denis (U of S) and Dr. Carol Schick (U of R). It helped participants identify the difference between cultural relevance in curriculum and strategies for addressing power inequities in the classroom. The bottom squares of the wall were actions and excuses of non-Indigenous peoples that allow them to forgo responsibility for teaching about Indigenous history and culture, and addressing harmful stereotypes and power inequities. Alicia emphasized the importance of being “willing to learn and unlearn together,” to unpack the sometimes subtle and not-so-subtle forms of racism in education.
Their presentation was peppered with quotes from bell hooks, Verna St. Denis, and Peggy McIntosh. The students also stressed that Indigenous education should not be optional, but should be as much a part of the curriculum as math is. Alicia and Daylyn offered options for decolonizing teaching, such as the Blanket Exercise and an image of the Métis Two Row Wampum (click through photos below to see a Wampum), which is art that follows two parallel lines that complement each other, while remaining separate. Alicia noted that the Faculty of Education is currently producing a Blanket Exercise contextualized for Treaty 4 territory, which she feels will be beneficial to the communities that live here.