October 14, 2010
Check against delivery
It's a real pleasure to be here today with Tribal Chief Thomas, Minister Harpauer, M.P. Rob Clarke, member Chiefs of the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and students.
And, thank you Chief Bear for hosting us for this important event.
Education is a priority we all share. It is as partners that we are here today, to assist First Nation learners to achieve the best possible educational outcomes.
With this Memorandum of Understanding – the first education tripartite agreement in Saskatchewan – the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatoon Tribal Council are committing to work together in order to enhance education outcomes for First Nation students. This will also give non-First Nation students a greater understanding of First Nation communities.
I believe the relationship we are building as partners is the most important aspect of our work together. We recognize that no single one of us working alone would have all of the answers. Each partner brings something special to the table.
For example, the provincial Ministry of Education and provincial school boards have plenty of experience developing strategies and systems for thousands of students and teachers.
Similarly, Elders and First Nation educators have much knowledge and expertise to share, in terms of teaching history, language, and culture.
We are very pleased to be partnering with both the Province of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Tribal Council – an organization that has distinguished itself by its capacity for partnership building. As always, we are keen and ready to work with willing partners to improve First Nation education outcomes. And we commend the Province and the Saskatoon Tribal Council for stepping up to the plate.
This partnership involves seven First Nations and seven band-operated schools. It will benefit over 1,000 students in those schools, as well as an additional 10,000 First Nation students from the Saskatoon Tribal Council in provincial schools.
To help mark the importance of this relationship, we are creating an Education Bundle, which will serve as both a symbol and a tool of our partnership. We appreciate this important symbol, which helps to underline the seriousness of our commitment.
I know that this agreement is the result of much hard work – and of much good faith – by each of the parties. I want to extend my congratulations for all of your efforts in getting us here.
I look forward to continuing to work in close partnership with you to improve the educational outcomes of our First Nation students.