The SSBA offers Indigenous Education Services, in support of its strategic plan and the Indigenous Constituency. The Indigenous Constituency consists of all self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit school board members in Saskatchewan. The Indigenous Constituency elects one member to act as the Indigenous Constituency Representative on the SSBA Provincial Executive. Currently, the Constituency represents approximately 14 per cent of all Saskatchewan school board trustees. Prior to the 2020 school board elections, approximately 11 per cent of all Saskatchewan school board trustees had self-declared as Indigenous, and prior to the 2016 elections, approximately nine per cent of trustees had self-declared.
The SSBA has also engaged and supported Indigenous voice in the Association through the formation of a Council since at least 1990. The SSBA Indigenous Council provides a forum to engage Indigenous school board members and others in providing strategic advice to the SSBA Executive, and in particular the SSBA Indigenous Constituency representative, on matters regarding Indigenous Education and other relevant matters related to Indigenous Education. The Indigenous Council consists of self-identified First Nations, Métis, and Inuit school board members, and welcomes all school board members interested in the Indigenous Council’s work. The Indigenous Council may also include other interested and relevant partners.
SSBA Indigenous Education Services include:
- Supporting the Indigenous Council in advancing initiatives, projects, and programs
- Indigenous culture and reconciliation presentations
- Advancing the Association’s Strategic Plan as it pertains to Indigenous Education priorities
- Information and research
Memorandums of Understanding
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Reconciliation through Treaty education:
The Métis Nation–Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on “strengthening our commitment for success of Saskatchewan Métis Students”.
Resolution on Display of Treaty Symbol
It is important for all Canadians to learn about the Treaties, what they represent and how they shaped our country. To continue supporting and strengthening efforts related to Treaty education, the SSBA Indigenous Council submitted a resolution at the 2017 Annual General Meeting that all school boards be encouraged to display the Treaty symbol within their schools and board offices. This resolution passed with strong support from our membership.
Position Paper — Mandatory Curriculum
Saskatchewan School Boards Association’s Advocacy Paper for Mandatory Curriculum that includes the rich and diverse history of First Nations and Métis Peoples pre-contact and the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools:
- Position Paper: Mandatory Curriculum, History of First Nations and Métis Peoples
- Ministry of Education Resolution Response
Reconciliation in Saskatchewan Education
The SSBA believes that by moving together through education and toward reconciliation, we start to envision a Canada where the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians is founded on mutual respect.
The SSBA supports the Calls to Action in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
- TRC Reports
- Ministry of Education Supporting Reconciliation in Saskatchewan Schools resource
- A Reconciliation Reading List
- GoodMinds.com – First Nations, Métis, Inuit books
- Showcasing Reconciliation in Saskatchewan Education
- Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools
- 100 per cent of Saskatchewan’s school board offices have the apology displayed
- 94 per cent of Saskatchewan publicly funded schools have the apology displayed
- Imagine Canada – Christopher Sanford-Beck
Treaty Territory Acknowledgement — Suggested Guidelines
Why do we acknowledge Treaty territory and the Métis homeland? By acknowledging this we are paying our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirming our relationship with one another.
Our land is sacred, as believed by the First Nations, and it is an important part of our history and who we are. By acknowledging the land and territory we are in, we pause for a moment to respect our Canadian history, the culture and those that occupied the land before the settlers arrived. At the same time, we acknowledge the treaties that were signed, which were agreements to share the land and resources.
- Treaty 4 Territory (Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Maple Creek, Yorkton, Melville)
- Treaty 6 Territory (Saskatoon, Prince Albert, North Battleford, Lloydminster, Meadow Lake)
Orange Shirt Day
On Sept. 30, Orange Shirt Day is officially recognized in Saskatchewan.
Orange Shirt Day is recognized on Sept. 30 each year and is part of a larger movement in the country to provide opportunity for First Nations, governments, schools and communities to unite in a spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.
The Orange Shirt Day movement is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, B.C., in 2013. It grew out of the account of a young girl having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the mission.
At the SSBA Spring General Assembly in 2016, members passed a resolution to request that the Government of Saskatchewan officially recognize Orange Shirt Day.
Sept. 30, 2016, was officially proclaimed as “Orange Shirt Day” in Saskatchewan. That marked the first year that Orange Shirt Day was officially recognized in the province.
- Orange Shirt Day 2021 Media Release
- Orange Shirt Day 2020 Media Release
- Orange Shirt Day 2019 Media Release
- Orange Shirt Day 2018 Media Release
- Orange Shirt Day 2017 Media Release
- Orange Shirt Day 2016 Media Release
- Orange Shirt Day Artwork Files
The logo was created by Shelley Brown and Shelley Daye. The bear paw is symbolic of power and protection and the colors yellow, red, white and black represent the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health of First Nations people. The Métis sash symbolizes the pride of the Métis people. The dream catcher is used to unite First nations and Métis people and to show that nations united are stronger than any one alone and that they can support each other in power, health and friendship.
For more information, please contact:
Ted Amendt, PhD
Director, Board Development and Indigenous Education (ext. 141)
Strategic Advisor in Indigenous Education (ext. 119)