While Oskāyak has always enjoyed a strong cultural program, the past five years have seen the deliberate integration of cultural knowledge and ways of knowing in classrooms, extracurricular activities, school celebrations and student leadership opportunities. Students are apt to be learning about Treaties in Art class, traditional pursuits in Wellness, beading design patterns in Math or traditional seasonal names in Science.
After school will see students rush to drumming practice or a dance performance. The year is punctuated by sage harvesting, powwows, feasts, round dances and sweats. Students gather with staff and discuss current events such as federal government bills or missing Aboriginal women. The school's mandate is to serve the whole person in mind, body, spirit and emotion. Nehiyaw (Cree) culture underpins everything at Oskāyak and provides a solid foundation for success.
The fastest growing segment of the population in Saskatchewan is First Nations and Métis youth. In 2013-2014, Oskāyak High School hosted more than 300 students from 51 First Nations across Saskatchewan. Of these, 56 per cent were living independently and 20 per cent had children of their own.
The student support program provides transportation assistance, a breakfast and lunch program, individual, family and addictions counselling, daycare services, Elders, social workers, a nurse and a home-school liaison worker. The major achievements in student supports in the last five years include the opening of a 34-space daycare, a kitchen remodeling sponsored by PotashCorp and a wellness program that provides students access to a slate of wellness services, including a pediatrician.
Oskāyak High School
919 Broadway Avenue