The province is providing support to two programs which train Indigenous educators to teach in Indigenous languages.

In a media release sent out late Monday morning the province announced just over $100,000 in funding to support the Dene Teacher Education Program (DTEP) in Hatchet Lake and the Cree Teacher Education Program in Waterhen Lake. The two programs are delivered by First Nations University of Canada FNUniv in partnership with the University of Regina (U of R). The programs allow students to study for their Bachelors of Indigenous Education in their home communities and upon graduation they will be able to provide K-12 instruction in either Dene or Cree.

Dene Teacher Education Program student Bernadette Besskkaystare said the DTEP program provides education students a great opportunity by letting them study at home close to their families. She added the program is also important in helping to preserve the Dene language.

“This teaching program will make a big difference in a few years for the community,” she said.

Minister of Advanced Education Gord Wyant said the government believes it is important to create more opportunities for Indigenous students to access post secondary education, especially for those living in more remote communities.

“Our government is proud to be a part of this partnership supporting the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages in the province,” he said.

Currently 216 education students are enrolled in seven Indigenous Teacher Education Programs across northern Saskatchewan.