Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and Central Urban Métis Federation Inc., in collaboration with Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program and Gabriel Dumont Institute, have received the 2020 Premier's Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education for the submission of "Marrsî ôma kici kâmiyin – The St. Michael Métis School of Excellence". (Marrsî ôma kici kâmiyin is Michif for "thank you for the great gift".)
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) co-ordinates the Premier's Award each year. The award was presented on behalf of Premier Scott Moe during the SSBA's virtual Annual General Assembly on Thursday.
"The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to recognize our province's great leaders in education," Minister of Education Dustin Duncan said on behalf of Premier Scott Moe. "This award is presented to the boards of education which exemplify education innovation and student achievement, and our boards have exceeded all expectations. Due to Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools' ingenuity and collaborative work, they have earned this year's distinction."
In its application for the award, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools said the Métis School of Excellence "represents the commitment of the Board to collaborate with Métis families and organizations to adapt the division to the needs and aspirations of the Métis community so that all students enjoy the richness of Métis history and culture, and so that Métis students achieve their full God-given potential."
"The partnerships that make Métis programming at St. Michael Community School possible really breathe a vibrancy into the school," said Diane Boyko, Board of Education Chair at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. "The school has become a hub of activity, not only for learning, but for a wide variety of cultural and community activities. There's a sense of excitement around things like learning Michif, fiddling and jigging, that has translated into interest and enthusiasm in other areas of learning. We really think this model of community education has been, and will continue to be successful for students, staff and families. When we're able, we look forward to celebrating with our partners and the entire community in true Métis style."
The $3,000 award has been sponsored by Xerox Canada since its development in 1999. The award recipient is recommended by a panel of education sector partners. Xerox is pleased to continue the long-standing partnership with the Saskatchewan School Boards Association through the sponsorship of the Premier's Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education.
"In a year unlike any other, innovation has been at the forefront in all we do. For our part, we strive to support the many virtual students and educators across Canada through the introduction of new tools designed to help individuals and groups effectively share and communicate information. We look forward to learning more about the innovation worthy of this prestigious award," said Karl Boissonneault, VP Xerox Channel Unit.
We believe this is the first submission for a Premier's Award written in an Indegenous langauge.
Previous Premier's Awards received by Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools:
2008: St. Mary's Wellness and Education Centre for the innovative model of education and community health.
2014: Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and the Kihtōtēminawak Council for education reform at Oskāyak High School
2017: ni ahkwatonâmonân Indigenous language pathways to improve student learning outcomes at St Frances Cree Bilingual School, in partnership with Saskatoon Tribal Council and the Indian Teacher Education Program at the University of Saskatchewan College of Education.