Bands Breaking Away From Education Council

Monday, March 16, 2009 at 12:51



Starting April 1st, there will be a new Aboriginal school division in the Battlefords area.


The Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs are starting up the BATC Education Authority on that date.


Member bands in the authority are the Ahtahkakoop, Sweetgrass, Moosomin, Red Pheasant, and Saulteaux First Nations.


Three of those bands — Sweetgrass, Moosomin and Red Pheasant — have been members of the Northwest Nations Education Council.


BATC Executive Director Neil Sasakamoose says the chiefs want more direct involvement in the education of Aboriginal children.


He says the new school division has funding agreements in place with Indian Affairs, and is preparing a budget for the coming year.


But Northwest Nations Education Council Director of Education Gerry Guillet says the bands are quitting too early.


Guillet says six bands agreed to run the council as a five-year pilot project beginning in 2005.


Saskamoose says it is his understanding that agreement runs out on March 31st.