Category: Community-Based Program News

GDI celebrates 3rd cohort of Master of Education grads

By James Oloo, Research Coordinator, Gabriel Dumont Institute

It seems like yesterday when 25 individuals gathered together at Gabriel Dumont Institute in Prince Albert to start their first day of a two-year Community-based Master of Education class. Exactly two years later, the same individuals gathered at Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club to celebrate the completion of their studies.

Congratulations to our third graduating cohort, the Class of 2019, which includes Joanne Berg; Jennifer Brown; Caitlin Crawford- Morley; Suzanne DePeel; Heather Carter; Darcie Eschyschyn; Amanda L. Fisher; Joel Hamilton; Tristan Hayunga; Elisa Hryniuk; Leanne Jordan; Joseph Kaufhold; Kari Korczak; Lazar Lafleur; Rebecca Lafond; Jodi Lentendre; Tracy Mckay; Bonnie Novotny; Rayanne Patterson; Kristin Pawliw; Christine Quennelle; Angela K. J. Rancourt; Shauna St. Amand; Robyn Stanford; and Megan Walsh.

To celebrate their achievements, Gabriel Dumont Institute held a reception for the graduates and their loved ones on July 25, 2019, where we had a number of faculty and staff who have been integral to the program’s development express their congratulations to the graduates.

Almost all the graduates are teachers at schools in the Prince Albert Area. Many knew each other or had common friends before they came to Gabriel Dumont Institute. When asked what they liked about the program, which is offered by Gabriel Dumont Institute in partnership with the University of Regina, many of the graduates mentioned “smaller classes” and the “cohort system,” in which the whole class start the program together and graduate together as a group. One said, “We have been a family for the past two years. I have learned a lot from my classmates. Even after graduation, we will maintain a strong professional learning network.”

Suzanne DePeel described the Master of Education program as “Amazing!” Caitlin Crawford-Morley pointed out that because the program is offered at an area with a big Indigenous population, “it has provided me with a culturally responsive pedagogy that not only benefits me, but will also enable my students to be successful.”

Megan Walsh liked the fact that the program is offered locally in Prince Albert thus expanding access for students who are working as they don’t have to travel or leave work to enroll in the program. Megan asserted,

“The program used instructional scaffolding technique which involved breaking down learning objectives for each class into manageable steps, and providing adequate support throughout the programs.”

The program employs a cohort-based system which enables students, usually bachelor of education degree holders who are working as teachers, to take same classes together. The focus in cohorts allows for students to think independently and engage in innovative learning while the continuity it presents could result in more effective supports and success for students. The Class of 2019 included a cohort of 25 students who started the program in the summer of 2017. They all plan to attend the fall 2019 convocation at the University of Regina later this year.

The Master of Education program head Michael Relland congratulated the graduates and thanked families and friends who were in the audience for their “support, sacrifice, and guidance,” noting that he was “so proud of this program and seeing the students grow and develop. We have always believed in the importance of making a positive change for ourselves, our students, and our country as we take steps towards reconciliation.”

The fourth cohort of 24 students commenced the Master of Education program in July 2019. As we congratulate the graduating class, we would like to extend a warm welcome to the Class of 2021 and wish them well in their studies.

Just over 70 students have graduated from the Master of Education program to date. While the program is relatively new, Gabriel Dumont Institute has played an important role in advancing Indigenous teacher education in Saskatchewan since its own founding 40 years ago. The Institute’s Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP), offered in Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert in partnership with the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, has graduated more than 1,300 Indigenous teachers. And, in the fall of 2019, the inaugural class of the newly established Northern Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP) – to be delivered by Gabriel Dumont Institute in partnership with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band – will start their studies in Air Ronge, Saskatchewan.

Reposted with permission from

Community-based master’s in educational administration program graduates

The Community-Based Master of Education Program in Educational Administration for Southeast Cornerstone SD #209 and Holy Family RCSSD #140 was designed to provide a unique cohort model of graduate education to educators in off-campus locations in order to more effectively link theory to local educational issues and practice.

Students in this cohort began their program in the summer of 2015. They finished in the summer of 2017.

Congratulations on your graduation!

Cohort of M.Ed. (Educational Administration) graduates (3 missing from photo) from Southeast Cornerstone SD #209 and Holy Family RCSSD #140
Graduates with instructor Gwen Keith and Dr. Larry Steeves
L-R Tania Gates, Wanneta Martin, Dr. Larry Steeves, Angela Kampert, Shauna Beylefeld, Anne Lauf

Cumberland College Bachelor of Education (U of R) students graduate

Bachelor of Education graduates. Back Row (L to R): Kourtney Kerelation, Shaunee Kobialko, Amy Kapeller, Lacey Wicks, Kaitlin Wesnoski, Shannon Cranch, Elise Fettes, Lorena Whitecap, Tarynn Freed, Oliver Head, Jenna Rudolph, Carmelle Kubat, Julie Rempel, Middle Row (L to R): Ashley Hobbins, Luc Casavant, Bernadette McKenzie, Payton Hiebert, Leanne Allen-Bader, Audrey Whitecap, Gillian Smith, Lolery George, Rubyann Dorion, Front Row (L to R): Michela Adlem (STF Prize recipient), Brenna Morris, Robyn Hildebrand, Rosanda Daniels, Melanie Ilnisky Also, unable to attend and not pictured are Alicia Garlock, Dora Morrow, and Kalen Reed. Jane Boehr/NIPAWIN JOURNAL


Local students to become local teachers


MAY 3, 2017 09:46 AM

Cumberland College’s first group of four-year Bachelor of Education students are set to graduate this year and some have their eyes set on teaching positions in the Northeast.

Amy Kapeller of Tisdale did her teaching internship in Melfort at Brunswick School.

“It was a very good experience, and I liked working with that grade,” said Kapeller.

“Once we get our teaching certificates, then we can start looking for jobs,” she said. “I’d prefer Melfort or Tisdale, but anywhere in the Northeast that’s driveable to, I would work at.”

Melanie Ilnisky is one of several students who graduated a semester early. She’s already working a temporary contract position in a local Grade 5 classroom.

“This has been a great chance to get started and get ideas rolling into actions and trying out new things,” said Ilnisky. She’d like to stay in the area if she can.

“I love being around family and being in small communities, so that’s something that’s important to me, and I’d like to be able to stick around here if possible.”

As far as Ilnisky was aware, three of her early-graduating colleagues had found work close to home.

The Community-Based Bachelor of Education Program was offered at Cumberland’s Nipawin campus through the University of Regina.

Ilnisky, who is from Kinistino, was considering going to Saskatoon or Regina for school when she was offered a spot at Cumberland.

“I really liked the idea of being able to stick around family and close friends, and not having to spend the cost of going to the city, making that big move and finding a place to live and whatnot,” she said.

According to the college’s website, the program aims to “support potential students in becoming teachers within their own communities”. Cumberland hopes to train local students to become local teachers.

“That’s part of it,” said Mike Relland, who is director of community-based programs for the University of Regina. “It’s also accessibility for students. Not everyone can uproot their families and even if they’re young people, relocate to Regina or Saskatoon.”

The first four-year program was offered in Nipawin, but the new group of students starting in September will take their classes in Melfort.

“It’ll be a somewhat different cadre of courses, but otherwise it’s going to be basically the same,” said Relland.

Both Kapeller and Ilnisky noted that the small classes were a positive part of their learning experience.

Kapeller started school in Saskatoon before transferring to Cumberland.

“It was 30 people in your class compared to 300, and it was much more personal,” she said.

“It was great,” said Ilnisky. “We became like a little family.”


Second cohort of GDI MEd students hold graduation BBQ


Sep 7, 2017

Posted in: 

By James Oloo

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.

For additional information about the master of education program including application requirements and program outline, please visit or contact Michael Relland at

High School Students Take First Year Education Course

For the first time, one of our Faculty of Education courses is being offered with a unique integrated high school course at Campus Regina Public School.

Dr. Twyla Salm is teaching the Education Core Studies (ECS) 100 course at Campus Regina Public as part of their Early Childhood program. Normally, ECS 100 is a required course for first year education students in all programs in the Faculty of Education. At Campus Regina Public, however, the students are still in high school!

In 2012, Regina Public Schools developed Campus Regina Public, an innovative high school program that integrates vocational and technical courses with academic courses for credit. The Faculty of Education and the University of Regina have recently partnered with Regina Public Schools to add another dimension to this already unique high school program. Last winter and, once again, this Fall, ECS 100 is being offered as part of the integrated Early Childhood Program.

Dr. Salm says, “This ECS course is a unique program integrating the learning outcomes of ECS 100, English 20/30, Psychology 30, and Career and Work Exploration 20/30.” Two Regina Public School teachers, Lisa Williams (Career Ed. & Psychology) and Jennifer Minter (English) co-teach with Dr. Salm; they plan, instruct, and evaluate as a team.

Dr. Salm says, “I am very fortunate to work in a collaborative environment with teachers and administrators that are willing to think innovatively about transitioning students from high school to post-secondary. It is a complex pedagogical teaching experience to integrate these courses effectively but our students are learning and many of them are opting to go to university.”

Jennifer Minter, co-teacher with Twyla, says, “We are so very fortunate to be able to offer such an enriching experience for our students. Integrating Dr. Salm’s course into the ECE program that we offer truly raises the bar in terms of the students’ motivation, performance and their overall educational experience. It is a tremendous advantage for them and for us, as their teachers.”

Campus Regina Public students are admitted to the University of Regina through the High School Accelerated Admission Process and receive a university credit when they successfully complete ECS 100. The University of Regina provides a scholarship which covers the cost of tuition so every Campus Regina Public student has the opportunity to experience a university course without the usual expense. Over the past two semesters, the ECS classes have been a diverse group of 32 plus students representing every high school in the city.

In the ECS 100 course, students examine topics such as the history and politics of Canadian school and the purposes it has served; how knowledge has been constructed from various historical contexts, worldviews, and values; and information about literacy and research. Students have a work experience component in which they spend time working in early childhood classrooms. They also gain research skills and learn to think critically and creatively about the construction of knowledge and educational systems.

The following are students’ comments on their experience in this course:

Kayleigh Marsh: I like that this class gives us the opportunity to get a kickstart on our university education and that we’re saving money on the class. We have learned lots about how residential schools affected the children and how they viewed the world.

Selina Musleh: I liked going on my work experience. I learned how to make a lesson plan.

Sydney Vogt: This is definitely my favourite class and it is great to be able to learn more about the development of young kids and get some experience working with them and teaching a few lessons!

Cheyenne Rathje: I love this class. I’m here for two hours a day and I love coming to this class because I get to play with little kids and do fun activities. I would do this class [more] than any other class. This is the best class ever.

Hanna Lapchuk: I have learned in working with younger kids. I have learned how to work with them and understand their learning abilities. I have worked with the kids hands-on and made learning plans with them. Spending 2 hours a day for 2 weeks with them, you really get to know the kids, know how they work, what they like, what they hate, and how to teach them in the best way.

Tabinda and Mishal: Field experience has been amazing! We’ve gained exceptional knowledge. We never knew there was so much in a child at such young ages.

Nicholas Bage: I like how this class gives you real experience on what it is like to teach an early elementary class as well on what to expect in a university class.

Kennedy Weber: I like this class because there is always so much to do and working with the kids is such a learning experience and I love coming here every day.

Chloe Anderson: I love this class because of the hands on experiences we have, along with getting real experience with children of all ages.

Jaida Crichlow:The ECE program has awesome educators and a safe and fun environment to be in.

Brianna Pinay: It is a very great program with many opportunities.

Hailey Harron: I love this program because it teaches you everything you need to become a teacher and how to understand children better.

(Photo gallery below. Slide cursor over photo and click the arrow to see next photos)

U of R at Campus Regina Public

YNTEP Visits the Faculty of Education and SUNTEP

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).


First Cohort of GDI Master of Education Graduates

Sep 1, 2015 Reposted from Gabriel Dumont Institute News

By James Oloo

“Awesome! Wonderful experience … it was a great two years,” said Brock Skomorowski when asked about his experience as a student in the Master of Education program.

It is not often that a group of educators sitting in the shade in a beautiful acreage on a gorgeous summer afternoon sipping cold drinks as the seductive aroma of smoke rises from the BBQ grill are unanimous in their satisfaction with an experience. But that was the case on July 30, 2015 when 23 members of the inaugural GDI-University of Regina Master of Education in Prince Albert held a celebration to mark the successful completion of the program.

Michael Relland, the Master of Education program coordinator, congratulated the graduates and thanked GDI for bringing the program to Prince Albert. Cory McDougall, the Director of Finance, stated that graduation of the first Master of Education cohort was “a testament to how far GDI has come. In 1980, there were less than 10 Aboriginal teachers in Saskatchewan. Today, SUNTEP has graduated 1,158 Aboriginal teachers, and among today’s graduates are 14 Aboriginal students, including 13 who are Métis.”

Cory, whose brother was among the graduates, asserted that the 23 graduates will be able to get into education administration roles and help influence educational policies around Saskatchewan (Indeed one of the graduates has already been offered a Vice Principal position at a school in the Prince Albert Area). Cory congratulated the graduates and thanked Michael for his dedication to GDI and to the Métis people of Saskatchewan.

About two thirds (15) of the graduates were individually asked to sum up their experiences in the program. The responses included: awesome (26%), fantastic (20%), wonderful (13%), beyond my expectations (13%), very good (7%), good (7%), I liked it (7%), and I enjoyed it (7%). Fifteen is a representative sample, and it can be argued that the majority of the inaugural cohort of the program had positive things to say about their programs. Out of 25 students who enrolled in the program, 23 completed successfully – a completion rate of 92%.

But, what exactly did they like about the Master of Education program? One of the graduates said he liked the smaller classes and the cohort system in which the whole class start the program together and graduate together as a group. It meant “tight knit community of learners, making good friends, networking, plus I felt that the professors were able to dedicate more time and attention to us (students).”

Another graduate noted that, the “(classroom environment) provided an opportunity for a shared learning experience. For two years, we were all students and teachers at the same time. Everyone’s participation was encouraged, respected, and appreciated.”

One graduate liked the fact that because of the way the program is structured, she knew at the start of the program exactly when the studies will end. This enabled her “to make plans ahead of time regarding professional and personal aspects of (her) life.”

One of the professors who attended the graduation party, Dr. Carol Fulton, praised the students and said she enjoyed the classes she taught. She also commended GDI and Michael for ensuring that the program ran smoothly.

Michael brought graduation gifts worthy of the students’ hard work through the two year program. These included a Métis sash and a traditional Métis fire kit. Referring to the Métis traditions, Michael said he regarded the “graduates as fire starters.” Cory said that “one day the fires will all burn together.”

Brian Linn, one of the graduates, and his family hosted the graduation party at their acreage just outside Prince Albert.

The second cohort of 23 students commenced the Master of Education program in July. As we congratulate the graduating class, we would like to extend a warm welcome to the new students and wish them the best in their studies