The First Nations University of Canada, formerly the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, was established in 1976. Off-campus programming in Indigenous teacher education commenced in the fall of 1977 to facilitate Indian Control of Indian Education. The on-campus program was established in 1988.
Initially, there were five community-based programs and these included: James Smith, Lac La Ronge, Pelican Narrows, Montreal Lake and Sturgeon Lake. Students who were in these programs completed their Standard “A” Teaching Certificate off-campus, and then they came on campus to finish their B.Ed. degree.
Other Off-Campus programs that have been offered since then include: Beardy’s First Nations, Peepeekisis First Nations, Yorkton Tribal Council/Cowessess First Nations Teacher Education Program, Mikisew Cree (Fort Chippewyan, Alberta), Wollaston Lake, Black Lake, and Red Earth/Shoal Lake. Off-campus programming continues to be a part of our mandate. AKTEP (Asiniw-Kisik Teacher Education Program) began in Fall 2001. Students enrolled in this program are from Kawacatoose First Nations. In September 2003, the Pelican Narrows Indian Education program was officially announced. An agreement between the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, the North West Regional College, and Northern Campus, resulted in an Indigenous Education program being established at Meadow Lake in 2005. In September 2006, twenty five students were accepted into the Kistapinanihk Education program established at Northern Campus to accommodate students from northern communities who preferred to live closer to their home communities. The students in this program come from various northern First Nations communities including: Canoe Lake, Red Earth, Beardy’s, Pelican Narrows, Black Lake, Cumberland House, Pelican Lake, Sturgeon Lake, Yellowquill, Montreal Lake, James Smith, Fond Du Lac, Mistawasis, Sandy Bay, Little Red. The off-campus programming reflects the commitment of the department to continue to provide educational leadership in First Nations education.
Indigenous Education offers a four-year B.ED Elementary, and a two-year BEAD Elementary program. Indigenous Education launched a new program in Secondary Education in September 2001. The Indigenous Education program places special emphasis on the development of First Nations content. Foundational knowledge in the areas of curriculum and instruction, professional studies, and educational research, from a First Nations perspective, is provided. A unique aspect of the program is the band school placement. In the third year of their program students are placed in a band-controlled school for their field practicum. This aspect of the programming provides opportunities for the department to establish further partnerships with First Nations communities. The department is currently offering a major in Indian/Native Studies Education and in Visual Arts. The Secondary First Nations Language Minor was implemented in 2003.
Other program developments within the Indigenous Education department include the revision of the First Nations Language Certificate Program, which was first developed in 1994. The Certificate of Extended Studies In Aboriginal Education, and the Certificate of Extended Studies In First Nations Languages were developed in 2005. These certificate programs are Additional Qualification Certificates that have been approved by BTEC (Board of Teacher Education and Certification) and are designed for teachers who want to increase their knowledge of First Nations education.
Our mission is to deliver high quality teacher education programs that produce effective educators knowledgeable in First Nations education. Students can access other specializations through the Faculty of Education, such as Mathematics, English, or Science, and they will still be benefiting from the First Nations culture and pedagogy emphasized by our program.
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