On September 27, 2017, Gabriel Dumont Institute released a new report, SUNTEP: An Investment in Saskatchewan’s Prosperity, which analyzes the impact of the Institute’s the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) in securing a prosperous future for Saskatchewan and for Métis. The report shows that SUNTEP graduates provide over $13 billion in benefits to Saskatchewan.
The study shows that education is a path out of poverty for Indigenous people. And as the Indigenous population continues to grow at a faster rate, the path which avoids a future of poverty for our province is, in two words, Indigenous education.
The report builds on an earlier one by University of Saskatchewan economist Eric Howe, Bridging the Aboriginal Educational Gap in Saskatchewan, which was commissioned by Gabriel Dumont Institute in 2011. In it, Professor Howe showed that closing Aboriginal education gap in Saskatchewan would have a direct effect of yielding $90 billion in benefits to the province.
A report by economist Eric Howe shows just how much Saskatchewan’s economy is foregoing by not closing the Aboriginal education gap. The amount is staggering—the lost benefits are greater than all sales of potash in the history of Saskatchewan. In a province where our greatest natural resource is thought to be potash, this research sheds new light on what we thought we knew to be true. An even greater resource is Aboriginal people—and this is a resource that we have not developed. By closing the Aboriginal education gap, Howe notes, we could be looking at a first‐ever made‐in‐Saskatchewan economic boom with greater impact and permanence than the natural resource or technological booms of the past.
“Closing Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal education gap would have the direct effect of yielding $90 billion in benefits,” said Howe. “To put this into context, the potash industry is universally understood to be critical to the economy of our province. However, the total production of potash in Saskatchewan back to the start of the industry is…four‐fifths of $90 billion.”
A research paper prepared by SUNTEP Saskatoon and the Gabriel Dumont Institute, March, 2012.
Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) graduates teaching in and administrating Saskatchewan urban schools are tasked with closing the academic gap between Aboriginal students and other students by 2020. At the same time, they are called upon to tend to the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual development of Aboriginal students. This entails not only academic teachings, but also involves collaboration with the Aboriginal community, coordination of Elders’ activities in the school, and teaching from the Treaty Kit, as well as advising, supporting, and educating non-Aboriginal teachers about Aboriginal culture, history and spirituality.
– Excerpt from the Executive Summary
View the full research paper: “Be Bold! Move Forward!” Measuring Success