Category: SUNTEP

A conversation with Dr. Melanie Brice

In June, the Faculty of Education launched the inaugural Gabriel Dumont Research Chair in Métis/Michif Education. Dr. Melanie Brice was appointed to the Chair for a 5-year term. With the establishment of this new Chair, the first in a Faculty of Education in Canada, and many other endeavours toward Truth and Reconciliation, the Faculty continues to demonstrate a concerted and sustained commitment to teaching and research that is engaging faculty, students, and other education stakeholders in gaining a deeper understanding of our shared histories and a reconciliatory approach to a more just future.Dr. Melanie Brice’s upbringing as a Michif (Métis): “A Culture of Place”

Dr. Melanie Brice, a Michif (Métis) born in Meadow Lake and raised at Jackfish Lake, Saskatchewan, has a strong understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures, languages and literacies, perspectives, educational experiences, and cross-cultural education issues. However, Melanie didn’t start out with this understanding. “SUNTEP was pivotal in helping me see how all my experiences growing up were an important part of my identity. I knew that I was Métis and what that meant. With SUNTEP, I learned how to integrate these understandings into my teaching and how to explain them to others.” says Melanie.

“Most of my childhood recollections are around time spent at my grandparents’ ranch, north of Meadow Lake. I had a charmed childhood, living at the lake, and spending holidays at the ranch, riding horses and playing with my cousins,” says Melanie. Her family had instilled values that she understands as Métis: “I was always told, ‘Be proud. We are hard-working people.’ And constantly reminded that family is important,” says Melanie.

Genealogy is another interesting aspect of her Métis upbringing. Because Melanie is fair, her grandfather used to call her “wapistikwaan,” meaning “white head” and she wonders if he talked a lot about their genealogy because he knew there would come a time when she would be questioned. “Interesting, with everything going on around identity fraud,” Melanie says. “One reason genealogy is part of Métis culture is because we are always asked to prove our identity. We didn’t have the same recognition, rights, or status around the Indian Act.” Quoting 20th Century activist and Métis, Howard Adams, she says, “We are the forgotten people.”

From her genealogy, Melanie mentions ancestors such as Cuthbert Grant Jr, “considered warden of the prairie, one of the Métis leaders when Métis people became political with the Battle of Seven Oaks,” says Melanie, and Cyprien Morin and his wife Marie Morin who were among the first to settle at Meadow Lake in the late 1800s. “Hearing these stories when you are young, you realize, this is who your family is.” Melanie says, “That family is large, with many people descending from Cuthbert in the south and Cyprien in the north. I have family everywhere—many cousins as part of a large extended family. There is kinship among community.”

When thinking about how her upbringing gave her a sense of belonging, Melanie quotes bell hooks calling this sense “a culture of place.” “All of those experiences growing up,” she says, “and knowing you are related to so many people, shapes your understanding of how you see yourself and your place in the world, and the willingness you have to get to know other people and work with other people.”

The Misconceptions Around the Term “Métis”

Misunderstandings and misconceptions exist around the term, “Métis.” Melanie says, “I get frustrated when I tell somebody I’m Métis and they automatically think that means ‘mixed’ or worse, the derogatory ‘half breed.’ We are a distinct people with a distinct culture. We are our own, not half of anything!”

A pan-Indigenous misconception of what it means to be Métis has also been an issue. Melanie says, “I’ve been questioned my entire life about my identity.” However, Melanie looks at the questions she is asked, “Not as a challenge but as an opportunity to be able to share with people what it means to be Métis,” she says, adding that there are many variables involved in claiming the identity, not the least of which is to have connection with your community. “We have a nation. I don’t say I’m a member of the Métis. I’m a citizen in the Métis Nation. There is more than just genealogy and being accepted by a community. You also need to give back,” says Melanie.

The Importance and Activities of the Gabriel Dumont Research Chair in Métis/Michif Education

Melanie feels excited and thankful about being the first Chair: “I’m thankful to the Dean and GDI. Without the work they did, this Chair wouldn’t be possible,” she says. There have been similar chairs in Métis studies, in history and Indigenous studies, but this is the first in education.

It’s important, Melanie says, because “of the impact that education has on change, changing lives, influencing how we see ourselves and others.” Melanie hopes to bring a stronger Métis presence into curriculum, “impacting future generations with what we have contributed and continue to contribute to education.” She is excited to engage with other Métis scholars across the country to understand their research and the work they are doing to affect Métis/Michif education.

Another aspect of the Chair Melanie values is the opportunities it brings for enhanced academic engagement with GDI and SUNTEP. Melanie already has a long-standing relationship with GDI and SUNTEP as an alumna and former faculty while she was working on her PhD. She is excited that the Chair brings her back into teaching at SUNTEP. “Working with GDI and talking about what are some of the priorities right now, and how can we work together to achieve some of those priorities—That’s the really important piece: having something that responds to our community’s needs. The Chair can put those things forward.”

The Kaa-tipeyimishoyaahk–We Own Ourselves Project. Working around the issue of identity, one of the big projects that Melanie hopes to engage with as Chair is to research Métis/Michif Education. She says, “The word Kaa-tipeyimishoyaahk—We are a people who own ourselves (Gaudry, A. 2014)—was given to me by Michif elder, Norman Fleury. There has been a lot of research around Indigenous education. However, it is done in either a pan-Indigenous view or it is First Nations. There isn’t a lot of research on Métis/Michif learning. I definitely want to focus on bringing that into academia, supporting the teaching at SUNTEP.” The We Own Ourselves project is supporting this goal. Melanie is talking to elders and old ones, and Métis educators and scholars to find out what they need. She is also part of her own research project, learning northern Michif from a fluent speaker.

Language and Cultural Revitalization. According to the Statistics Canada 2016 census, with a rising population of 51.2%, the Métis were the fastest growing population in Canada between 2006 and 2016. However, less than 2% of Métis people speak the Michif language, making the Michif language one of the most vulnerable Indigenous languages in Canada.

Through the chair, Melanie intends to build capacity in Métis/Michif education by focusing on language and cultural revitalization along with research, learning, knowledge keeping, reconciliation, and inclusion.

Not everyone has had the same cultural experiences and opportunities as Melanie. Her daughters, whom she raised in the city, didn’t have the same experiences: “Even though I thought I did such a good job with my daughters, instilling in them a strong sense of their Métis identity, they didn’t have those kinds of lived experiences—cultural knowledge from being in community and at gatherings,” says Melanie. Over the years, Melanie has also seen a change in SUNTEP’s scope, in that when she went through the program, “SUNTEP taught Métis people how to be teachers. Now because of how successful colonization has been it is more like teaching students how to be Métis and how to be teachers.”

Melanie clarifies that the culture has not disappeared. “Culture is still there; it’s just not taken up in the same kind of way because of how families have moved away. That’s why it is important to be more explicit in terms of naming.”

Dreaming Big. Research on Métis ways of learning, knowing, and being is important; however, Melanie is concerned about the dearth of Métis researchers and PhD students. When asked to dream about the possibilities if unlimited resources were available, Melanie says she would like to see “fully funded Métis graduate students—students pursuing their PhDs without having to leave their communities or give up their income.” She recognizes that this would be tricky because there is value in doing a residency component; “Yet,” she says, “I can see where a move away from family and supports is a huge obstacle for potential students.” Another dream of Melanie’s is, “to adequately compensate our elders, old ones, and knowledge and culture keepers who are so pivotal to the research.”

Vanier Scholarship Candidate | Jessica Madiratta

This week we are shining light on Jessica Madiratta, currently in her second year of a Doctor of Philosophy in Education program with the University of Regina. Jessica recently received the good news that she has been selected as a University of Regina candidate for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships–Doctoral Awards 2021-2022 competition. She will find out in spring if she has been successful in the national competition. For her dissertation, Jessica’s proposed research is a critical participatory action research project which she hopes will improve teaching practices through professional development in culturally responsive pedagogy. “This project challenges educators to build deeper relationships with their students, to bring in authentic learning experiences for students, and to explore social issues happening around student lives,” says Jessica.
 
Living up to her maiden name “Wesaquate,” which means “sharp as a whistle,” Jessica’s been a non-stop student on campus since 2006, earning her BEd from SUNTEP Regina in 2010, her MEd (C&I) in the Faculty of Education in 2015, followed by a BA in Indigenous Studies from FNUC in 2019. Jessica’s been working as a teacher with Regina Public Schools since 2010. Beginning in 2018, she took on the role of Indigenous Advocate Teacher at Kitchener Community School in Regina.
 
Jessica’s fondest memories come from her favourite MEd course, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, which she took with Dr. Angelina Weenie (FNUC): “This class showed me the importance of decolonizing and indigenizing my classroom practices and shared the power of culturally relevant and responsive pedagogies. It had a huge influence on my PhD research topic. Someone should take this class if they are looking for ways to engage their diverse student population,” she says.
 
In Dr. Weenie’s class, Jessica had the opportunity to attend culture camp: “It was completely dedicated to Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being. I had the chance to learn from many elders, participate in a sweat, and to be on the land,” says Jessica.
 
Jessica, who grew up in Regina, and has roots with Piapot First Nation, considers the most significant aspect about earning her degree from the Faculty of Education, “is the opportunity to learn in my traditional territory with learnings connected to the Regina area.”
 
As advice to students, Jessica says, “Connect with other students. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn from the experiences of those that have already started their schooling journey.”

Inaugural Gabriel Dumont Research Chair in Métis/Michif Education

We are pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural Gabriel Dumont Research Chair in Métis/Michif Education within the Faculty of Education, University of Regina.

Dr. Melanie Brice has been appointed to the inaugural Gabriel Dumont Chair in Métis/Michif Education for a 5-year term. Dr. Brice has been working with the University of Regina Faculty of Education since 2018 as an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education, Language & Literacy Education, and Educational Core Studies. Dr. Brice a Michif (Métis) born in Meadow Lake and raised at Jackfish Lake, Saskatchewan has a strong understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures, languages and literacies, perspectives, educational experiences, and cross-cultural education issues.

The Gabriel Dumont Chair in Métis/Michif Education will increase research and teaching capacity in Métis/Michif Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina and enhance academic engagement with Gabriel Dumont Institute’s (GDI’s) Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP).

As Chair, Dr. Brice will focus on the research that seeks to understand and expand the scholarship of teaching and learning by building capacity in Métis and Michif education. The research program will focus on research, learning, knowledge-keeping, language and cultural revitalization, reconciliation, and inclusion with and by the Métis through formal education systems.

According to the Statistics Canada 2016 census, with a rising population of 51.2%, the Métis were the fastest growing population in Canada between 2006 and 2016. However, less than two percent of Métis people speak the Michif language, making the Michif language one of the most vulnerable Indigenous languages in Canada.

With the establishment of this new Chair, the first in a Faculty of Education in Canada, and many other endeavours toward Truth and Reconciliation, the Faculty continues to demonstrate a concerted and sustained commitment to teaching and research that is engaging faculty, students, and other education stakeholders in gaining a deeper understanding of our shared histories and a reconciliatory approach to a more just future. (Photo credit: Sweetmoon Photography)

SUNTEP Regina students engaged in project replicating Road Allowance home

Follow along the Twitter journey posted by SUNTEP Regina professor Brenna Pacholko, outlining the student project that resulted in an accurate portrayal of the interior of a Road Allowance House. The display can be viewed at the GDI Library, 2nd floor of the College West Building. They will be presenting about the project on February 27 at 7:00 pm @ the Artesian on 13th as part of  the Heritage Regina Lecture series, “gee meeyo pimawtshinawn It was a Good Life. Stories from the Road Allowance People.”

Math 101 Mini Math Fair — Indigenizing math concepts

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.

Darian Laliberte (Math Bingo in Cree)
Math Bingo in Cree
Jeanne Haywahe (The 7 Chiefs)
Dylan Joachim (1953 Inuit High Arctic Relocation)
Kaleb Desjarlais (Comparing Canada’s Land: Then and Now)
Mike Langan’s The Mathematics Behind the Hudson’s Bay Company (absent from the group photo)

 

 

Teacher Education Programs gather for Indigenous Knowledge Exchange

TEP gathering to discuss Indigenous Knowledge

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.

Keith Adolph (TPC coordinator) and Dr. Val Mulholland (Associate Dean)
Wanneta Martin (Assistant to the Associate Dean) registering TEP guests.

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!”

Janice R. Thompson welcoming TEP members to Indigenous Knowledge Exchange
Dr. Earl Cook brings greetings as Chairman of the Board of Governors for Gabriel Dumont Institute
Dr. Sherry Farrell-Racette giving keynote address.

Photo credits: Shuana Niessen

Second cohort of GDI MEd students hold graduation BBQ

GDI MASTER OF EDUCATION 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 https://gdins.org/programs-and-courses/what-we-offer/community-based-masters-program/ or contact Michael Relland at michael.relland@gdi.gdins.org

Student Success Celebrated

2017 Student Success Celebration

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.

SUNTEP Regina’s new Michif 100 course was celebrated at the event. Coordinator Janice Thompson spoke to the uniqueness of the SUNTEP Regina program, being the first post-secondary institution to offer such a course.

The new Arts Education program exhibited a commemorative piece by artist and second-year student Molly Johnson.

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.:

Michela Adlem
Karie Aikman
Regina Akok
Leanne Allen-Bader
Bailey Antonishyn
Amy Arnal
Nicole Aulie
Molly Basnicki
Kimberley Bateman
Jessica Bec
Haylie Bedore
Raquel Bellefleur
Mari-Anne Berriault
Brandon Bezanson
Robert Blenkin
Melayne Borys
Mélissa Bouffard
Curtis Bourassa
Orisha Boychuk
Karlee Brennan
Dori-Lyn Brezinski
Abby Bristow
Taryn Buhler
Sarah Burns
Amy Campbell
Melaynie Campbell
Jolene Campbell
Stefanie Cook
Petina Cook
Kaitlin Corbin
Rose Couture
Shannon Cranch
Annamarie Cressman
Chelsea Croft
Rachel Davis
Samantha Dech
Arnaud Demaria
Diana Demaria
Jillian Dempsey
Austin Denham
Allison Doetzel
Jaicee Draper
Catherine Duffy
Josée Dumont
Robyn Dyck
Jacquelyn Easton
Courtney Einsiedler
Allison Entem
Emily Eskowich
Jordan Ethier
Jaiden Evans
Martin Farrow
Alexandra Fenson
Elise Fettes
Kara Fidelack
Kyla Fidelack
Payden Fraser
Taylor Frei
Dawn Ganshirt
Alicia Garlock
Sally Generoux
Lolery George
Nicole Gerbert
Spencer Giffin
Hillary Gladish
Chloe Golden
Erin Goodpipe
Ashley Grandfield
Todd Greenwood
Brittany Haidt
Jenna Hansen
Tara Hanson
Taylor Harder
Kylie Harder
Allyson Haukeness
Madison Hawkes
Laura Heinmiller
Kayla Henderson
Colin Hickman
Robyn Hilderbrand
Sarah Hoag
April Hoffman
Andrea Hoffman
Courtney Horsman
Victoria Howe
Kaila Huber
Rachel Hussey
Melanie Ilnisky
Benjamin Ironstand
Rachelle Ismond
Celeste Jensen
Venus Kay
Amy Kapeller
Shayla Kapila
Chelsea Driedger
Kalen Kehrig
Beth Kelln
Kourtney Kerelation
Hojeong Kim
Sarah Kirschman
Samantha Kitzul
Amy Klassen
Kristen Klatt
Landen Kleisinger
Shaelyn Knudson
Shaunee Kobialko
David Korchinski
Jasmine Korpan
Brennan Kowalski
Vanessa Kushniruk
Payton Kuster
Rachelle Lamontagne
Brittany Larson
Kendra Leier
Janelle Letkemann
Sharon Lewis
Aleesha Lichtman
Amanda Livingstone
Latasha Luchsinger
Hanna Macaulaly
Tianna Macdonald
Stephanie Maier
Marie Louise Malick
Daylia Martin
Amy Martin
Melissa McCormick
Matthew McKee
Laine McLaren
Liard McMillan
Brigid McNutt
Miranda McPhee
Christopher Merk
Jaylee Michel
Matthew Mickleborough
Renee Molesky
Amanda Moosemay
Harper Morland
Brenna Morris
Renee Muir
Craig Munroe
Kayley Murdoch
Noelle Nestman
Jenna Neufeld
Cole Nicolson
Crystal Norris
Christina Oberlin
Daniel Odendaal
Lexy Osborne
Brandi Ottenbreit
Barbara Owens
Julia Papic
Deanna Patterson
Danielle Pelletier
Leta Perepeluk
Josie Phillips
Jasmine Phillips
Katelyn Pippus
Sarah Pitman
Cassandra Poirier
Sébastien Potvin
Jessica Pouliot
Mackenzie Raedeke
Elio Ramirez
Sarah Redmond
Eve Reed
Jessica Reid
Sara Reimer
Julie Rempel
Zachary Renwick
Ellen Revet
Holly Robinson
Brooke Robson
Kaitlyn Rohrke
Sarah Ross
Jolene Ross
Jenna Rudolph
Sara Salazar
Avery Saunders
Teagan Schiltz
Rina Schmidt
Karley Schwab
Carmelle Seiferling
Kirsten Selinger
Zachary Sellers
Madisson Shearer
Nissa Shiell
Bailie Shindle
Paddra Shing
Laura Simpson
Gillian Smith
Valerie Snider
Karae Sotropa
Alexandra Specht
Jacob Stebner
Peter Steele
Melissa Stephens
Daniel St-Jacques
Paula Stoker
Shelby Stratechuk
Kelsie Sutherland
Michelle Sweeting
Christina Thiel
Debra Townend-Callaghan
Leigh Tremblay
Rhandi Turton
Jessamy Unger
Jayda Van Betuw
David Vanderberg
Leanne Varley
Bryce Voogd
Tiana Waldbauer
Trisha Wallington
Kristen Wallington
Kayla Ward
Timothy Wasyliw
Jessica Weber
Katlyn Weisberg
Raelyn Weisgerber
Corina Wesdyk
Kaitlin Wesnoski
William Whitten
Lacey Wicks
Cameron Wiest
Dana Wilbraham
Tanya Wilkins
Jillana Willford
Benjamin Woolhead

SUNTEP First to Offer Michif 100 Language Course

SUNTEP Regina Coordinator Janice Thompson (Photo credit: Shuana Niessen)

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.”[1]

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.

“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 what I’m learning about my traditions and culture.” Jenny Veilleux, first-year SUNTEP student (Photo credit: Shuana Niessen)

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.”

SUNTEP Regina Graduation Celebration 2016: Gratitude

Graduate Chelsie Sinclair – The Spirit of SUNTEP award winner. Photo credit: Brenna Pacholko
Geordy McCaffery with the graduates Photo credit: Brenna Pacholko
Dr. Mike Cappello addresses the graduates. Photo credit: Brenna Pacholko
Dalton Burzminski – David Amyotte Memorial Scholarship winner. Photo credit: Brenna Pacholko

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.

Awards

  • 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

 

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