Friday, April 18, 2014
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Province spending $3M to improve education for First Nations, Metis students

CTV Saskatoon

The Saskatchewan government is spending $3 million to improve education for First Nations and Metis students.

Education Minister Don Morgan said Tuesday providing culturally appropriate and holistic approaches is key to improving students' outcomes.

Half the $3 million will provide on-reserve students and teachers with better supports as educational organizations and provincial school divisions will share successful learning approaches with the First Nations pilot schools.

The other half will expand the provincial government’s Help Me Tell My Story program.

Help Me Tell My Story assesses oral language learning in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students through the telling of First Nations and Métis stories. It also engages parents and the community in oral language development, the province said in a media release.

"It is exciting to see Help Me Tell My Story being expanded to additional schools and school divisions," said Saskatchewan Rivers School Division superintendent Maureen Taylor, noting the program has made it easier for schools in the division to connect with families of students.

The province's $3-million investment comes after an aboriginal education task force submitted a report to the province April 15, 2013.

The report called for “anti-racist education” and stated strong First Nations and Métis education programs will help address poverty experienced by numerous aboriginal populations. It also called for the recognition of First Nations and Métis cultures and languages.

“I thank the province for their investment,” said FSIN second vice-chief Bobby Cameron. “There is still much more work to be done, and we look forward to continued progress in the other areas identified in the JTF report.”

The provincial government also announced Tuesday it is investing $50 million into First Nations and Métis post-secondary education and training through 2013-14.

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with files from the Canadian Press

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