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Celebrating Tomorrow’s Leaders

By Bonnie Novotny, Program Head, SUNTEP Prince Albert

Jan 30, 2023

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Over 500 post-secondary and high school students from Prince Albert and other northern communities, as well as Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) students and staff, filled the seats at the Prince Albert Rawlinson Center of the Arts on January 18, 2023 for ‘Saskatchewan’s Next Generation of Leaders Workshop’.

The key topics covered in this workshop were the art of self-expression, the importance of mental health, language, and the power of resilience. Topics were identified by a student advisory committee and woven into each presentation throughout the day. “The workshop aims to help and thank post-secondary students,” said June Anonson, Chair of the University of Saskatchewan Prince Albert Campus.

The workshop included presenter Chief Cadmus Delorme of Cowessess First Nation. Through story and “helium humor” Cadmus connected and entertained the audience while sharing messages of the importance of education and identity.

The workshop concluded with three-time Juno Winner Susan Aglukark performing through story and song. Aglukark’s shared pictures and songs of celebration and family. Her message inspires hope and connection. The celebration song that she closed with was the song SUNTEP staff and faculty used in our SUNTEP survivors’ banquet in 1995 when we celebrated the completion of our cohort’s first year of university. My sister and I were the first of our family to attend university so that song brings back some strong emotions of resilience. I played the song just this week for the SUNTEP student body to start the morning!

“We received so much positive feedback from both staff and students towards the Leaders of the Future event! We were truly moved by all the speakers.

Chief Cadmus Delorme really resonated with our students and they all felt privileged to hear his message. It was a great collection of speakers and messages” Ashley Grimard, SUNTEP faculty member.

Overall, the workshop was well received by the SUNTEP community leaving everyone feeling empowered to start a new term.

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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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