Whitecap Dakota First Nation & Saskatoon Public Schools Education Partnership

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| Source: Saskatoon Public Schools
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SASKATOON, SK, Oct. 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Operations

  • The partnership agreement is in effect from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2018, with provisions for renewal. It is supported by a companion funding agreement between Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) with the same four-year term.
  • Whitecap Dakota Elementary School (WDES) will be operated by SPS and all professional teaching staff at the school are now employees of the division.
  • Whitecap students will attend WDES on-reserve from Prekindergarten to Grade 4.
  • In Grade 5, students will be bused to either John Lake School or Buena Vista School.
  • In high school, students will be bused to Walter Murray Collegiate or Aden Bowman Collegiate.
  • Once Stonebridge School opens, Whitecap students in Grades 5 – 8 will be transported to the new elementary school.
  • There are currently 61 students attending WDES.
  • There are 73 Whitecap students attending SPS schools.
  • Since mid-1990s to present, Whitecap and SPS have had partnership agreements in place for Whitecap students to attend public schools in Saskatoon.

Governance and Jurisdiction

  • Whitecap Dakota First Nation (WDFN) maintains jurisdiction over on-reserve education. This is put into practice through the creation of joint governance mechanisms for decision-making on the operations and resourcing of the school.
  • As WDFN continues towards self-governance, Whitecap Council and membership intend to assert its jurisdiction adopting a Whitecap Dakota Education Act. This law would continue to enable the WDFN-SPS partnership as the most appropriate and effective tool for the community to sustain student achievement.
  • Existing Dakota language and cultural programming at the WDES will be maintained and enhanced.

Funding Arrangements

  • All federal funding for the education of WDFN students will come to SPS. SPS will then flow through some funding to WDFN where it provides services (e.g. administrative support) or covers direct costs (e.g. facilities costs).
  • The partnership agreement provides full transparency and accountability between the parties. As a principle, the parties have agreed that federal funding received will be retained for Whitecap students; SPS taxpayers will not subsidize the operation of Whitecap school. For example, WDFN will use its own revenues from taxation and economic enterprise to supplement federal funding and support Dakota language and culture programming and other programs unique to WDES.
  • The new arrangements are supported by a pilot funding approach by the Government of Canada, which applies the existing provincial education funding formula to the operation of Whitecap school.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28606

Veronica Baker 
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Saskatoon Public Schools
Office: 306.683.8325
Cell: 306.220.1649