Gabriel Dumont Institue

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2014, The Year That Has Been…

Dec 23, 2014

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Some years just stand out. In 1965, Tom Lehrer released a live album titled ‘That was the year that was.’ A movie by the same title came out in 1976. In 2012, Maclean’s magazine published an article by Aaron Wherry ‘This is the year that was,’ and last year, Daniel Healy had a mix tape, ‘The year that was.’

A year may stand out because of unfortunate things that happened such as the passing of Jim Sinclair in 2012. But often, the year stands out because of great things that happened. Such is the case of 2014. As the year winds down, we would like to look at some of the successes that have been achieved by GDI.

Early in the year, GDI launched the Institute’s new website at www.gdins.org. The new look website is sleek and stylish, modern and user friendly; and has new features and over 1,200 images.
Online Payslip system replaced the paper payslips. The result was savings on staff time, paper, and associated cost. It has also been good for the environment.

GDI Publishing and writers were shortlisted for eight Saskatchewan Book Awards. The books were Just Pretending by GDI Training & Employment Director Lisa Wilson; Métis Soldiers of Saskatchewan: 1914-1953 by Dr. Cathy Littlejohn; and The Diamond Willow Walking Stick: A Traditional Métis Story about Generosity by SUNTEP Prince Albert Instructor and award-winning author Leah Marie Dorion. When Award winners were announced in April, Just Pretending received four awards including 2014 Book of the Year Award.

The GDI Publishing published two books, My First Métis Lobstick by Leah Marie Dorion, and Manny’s Memories by Ken Caron and Angela Caron. The books bring to the fore the rare yet vivid glimpse of Métis history and culture.

SUNTEP Saskatoon played sledge hockey with Wildwood School students and helped raise disability awareness. Children with disabilities are often more vulnerable to bullying and Aboriginal females with disabilities are three times more likely to live in poverty than other Canadians. The importance of disability awareness campaign, therefore, needs no further emphasis.

GDI Training and Employment partnered with the Camp Tamarack Foundation to take Aboriginal children with learning disabilities to a summer camp. Most of the kids were very happy and said they would like to come back next year.

The Third Annual GDSF Golf Tournament held at the Moon Lake Golf and Country Club in Saskatoon raised $32,036 that was matched by the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Fund, for a total of $64,072. The amount is awarded to Métis students as scholarships.

After years of hard work, Métis Veterans Memorial Monument was unveiled at Batoche in July. The monument was described by Rob Clarke, MP for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, as “a fitting tribute to all Métis people.”

GDI is one of the most female-friendly employers in Saskatchewan and across Canada. Over the past year, the Institute had 209 employees of which 150 (72%) were female. Females are also in leadership positions at the organization serving as directors and program coordinators. At the GDI Board of governors, six out of eight (or 75%) members are female

As a Métis-owned organization, GDI continues to be an employer of choice for Métis professional with 57% of all employees self-identifying as Métis. Of the GDI group of companies, GDI Training & Employment had the highest proportion of Métis employees at 70%. At Dumont Technical Institute, 51% of employees were self-declared Métis. We are likely to achieve more milestones before 2014 is over. As bedrock of visionary leadership, Gabriel Dumont Institute can only get stronger in the New Year .

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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