A new University of Saskatchewan bachelor of education program starts next week in Cumberland House.

The Cree Teacher Education Program (CTEP), which specializes in the teaching areas of Cree language instruction and Indigenous studies, will be held at Charlebois Community School.

The first day of classes is Wednesday.

“The school was the ideal location to get the program going,” CTEP coordinator Lily McKay Carriere said. “We have a Cree book room with Cree resources and many of the local teachers here are actually from Cumberland House and can speak the language and are attempting to teach it.”

Thirty-six students are enrolled in the four-year program.

“We’ve got a group of students who are very excited,” McKay Carriere added. “It will have an impact on teachers who could be filling in positions in four years in classrooms throughout the north. That’ll be in villages and First Nations communities.”

Representatives from the Northern Village of Cumberland House, University of Saskatchewan, Northern Lights School Division, Cumberland House Cree Nation and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan signed a memorandum of understanding in June to launch the elementary-middle school stream program.

(PHOTO: Partners signing the memorandum of understanding to launch the Cree Teacher Education Program. Photo courtesy of Meagan Hinther.)