News Release May 17, 2011

The Government of Saskatchewan and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) have signed an historic agreement to establish a joint task force on education and employment.

The task force will consult widely on and off reserve throughout the province to help identify practical, grass-roots solutions for eliminating the current gaps in education and employment outcomes for First Nations and Métis people in Saskatchewan.

“It is essential that all people in Saskatchewan reach their potential and benefit from our province’s prosperity,” Premier Brad Wall said. “If we can effectively meet these challenges, we have the opportunity through this unique partnership for our First Nations and Métis learners to lead our province’s success for generations to come.”

“True reconciliation will occur when the foundations of traditional First Nations education is restored, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Federation of Saskatchewan Indians Nations Chief Guy Lonechild said. “This joint task force will provide recommendations that will inform collaborative actions towards improving the gap in education and employment outcomes for First Nations people. This will mean success for all.”

The joint task force will focus on several key goals including:

  • Improved early childhood outcomes and transition to school;
  • Increased high school and post-secondary completion rates;
  • Improved participation in the labour force and employment; and
  • Greater quality of life and enhanced self-sufficiency.

“This agreement reflects a shared vision of our prosperous province where everyone has access to a high quality of life on and off reserve,” Wall said.

The three-member task force will be appointed by the end of summer with public consultations expected to begin in fall, 2011. A final report is expected in August, 2012. Cost of the task force is $2 million.

For more information, contact:

Bill Stovin
Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration
Phone: 306-787-0926

Mervin Brass
Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
Phone: 306-956-1026