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COVID-19 – May 28th

May 29, 2020

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May 28, 2020 


Updates for the Week of May 25-29, 2020:


  • NEW GDI COVID-19 Emergency Bursary for Métis Students
    • The GDI COVID-19 Emergency Bursary for Students application is no longer available.
    • If you are a current student in extreme financial need during this time, please email scholarships@gdi.gdins.org to request assistance and your situation will be assessed on an individual basis.
    • During this time we highly encourage individuals to look into these other sources of assistance:


  • NEW 2020/21 Métis Nation University Sponsorship Applications Now Open
    • Applications for Métis Nation University Sponsorship for 2020/21 are now open. Please apply online at gdins.org/university by July 1, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact us via email at usponsorship@gdins.org.


  • NEW GDI Pathways to Entrepreneurship Program to Continue
    • The GDI Pathways to Entrepreneurship program (2017-2020), which was scheduled to end this summer, will continue. More information to follow shortly.


  • NEW Graduation Ceremonies/ Events
    • SUNTEP Prince Albert and Dumont Technical Institute have held virtual graduation events. Other Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) and Gabriel Dumont College (GDC) programs have postponed their graduation ceremonies.


  • Testing Services
    • ACCUPLACER Testing is now available through remote or distance processes. Please contact DTI Testing Services if you have any questions or to set up an appointment at testing@gdins.org or Toll Free: 1-877-488-6888.


  • GDI Library
    • The Prince Albert and Regina Branches of the GDI Library are open for business. Click here for more information
    • Electronic resources are available for loan
    • Curbside pickup is available for loan of physical materials.


  • Fall Program Delivery
    • GDI has been working closely with our partners in post-secondary education as we plan for fall delivery.
    • GDI’s situation is unique, with programs and classrooms in at least 16 Métis communities across Saskatchewan providing a broad range of programs from Master and Bachelor degrees, to diploma and certificate programs, as well as multiple levels of Adult Basic Education. As such, GDI’s response will be tailored to the accrediting agency and the best needs of each particular program and community in question.
    • In consultation with public health and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer, the Institute will utilize a hybrid, or blended, approach to education delivery this fall, as appropriate. Leveraging the best practices of face-to-face in-person classes and online and distance education instruction will give our students the best chance of academic success in the ever-changing environment of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
    • A staged and blended model will combine online, classroom, laboratory, shop, and clinical instruction. The concept reflects comprehensive planning work done by our staff and faculty in the recent weeks. It also provides the programming flexibility needed to manage the risks of the pandemic while ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
  • Mental Health Student Support Program
    • Free and confidential mental health and counselling supports are now available for all GDI students 24/7.
    • Services are available through a variety of modalities including toll-free telephone, video counselling, on-line chat, in-person counselling (when allowed), and mobile app.
    • The best way to access service is to download the My SSP app
    • Students may also access the counselling services via the toll-free number at 1-844-451-9700
    • Staff and faculty orientation sessions were held May 7 & 8, 2020. A link to the staff orientation video can be found on the GDI intranet.
    • A student orientation video is available here. Please share the link directly with your students.
    • This service is exclusively for students of the Gabriel Dumont Institute (including Dumont Technical Institute, SUNTEP, NSITEP, and Gabriel Dumont College). Students should select “Gabriel Dumont Institute” when accessing the program.
    • Student counselling services are provided by keep.meSAFE in partnership with Morneau Shepell


  • GDI Virtual Concerts
    • Virtual concerts hosted by the Gabriel Dumont Institute have been very popular and well accessed. Available concerts are as follows:
    • April 21, 2020: Donny Parenteau on YouTube or on
    • April 27, 2020: Jess Lee in concert on Facebook or watch it on YouTube
    • May 4, 2020: John Arcand, Master of the Métis Fiddle, on Facebook or YouTube.
    • May 11, 2020: Tristen Durocher on Facebook or YouTube.
    • May 25, 2020: Lucas Welsh on YouTube or Facebook
    • Like GDI on Facebook


  • The GDI Golf Tournament, scheduled for May 29, 2020, is postponed. A tentative future date is August 21, 2020. Contact Amy Briley or scholarships@gdins.org for more info.



  • A new resource, The Métis Alphabet Colouring Book, created by George Gingras, is being released in pages. The first two letters to be released are “L is for Louis Riel” and “D is for Dumont.” Some pages include lesson plan ideas. The Métis Alphabet Colouring Book pages are available for download here.  The new resource is inspired by The Métis Alphabet Study Prints by Joseph Jean Fauchon with Darren R. Prefontaine.


Student Updates:


  • ABE Adult 10-12 Update
    • During the COVID pandemic, the provincial government together with post-secondary institutions, support Adult learners to continue their education towards completion.
    • The Adult Basic Education Adult 10-12 Instructional Framework provides policy direction to post-secondary institutions that is consistent with the direction provided to Grades 10-12 in the K-12 system.
    • Adult learners in credit programs will be provided similar opportunities as K-12 for supplemental learning, assessment and evaluation, grading, and transition.
    • A minimum final mark of 50 percent or greater will be applied to the outcomes evaluated to-date in the subject areas as of March 13, 2020. Adult learners will be afforded the opportunity to improve their marks through supplemental learning.
    • Adult learners will not be penalized for committing to supplemental learning. If a learner’s grade goes down by the end of supplemental learning, their final grade will be the mark recorded as of March 13, 2020 (50 per cent or greater).
    • Adult learners will be encouraged to continue learning; however, if they are not able to, they will be assigned their grade as of March 13, 2020.
    • Provincial examinations are waived from March 13, 2020 through to the end of June 2020 for Adult learners engaged blended programs (now 100% instructor marks) or programs taught by non-accredited instructors.
    • No differentiation will be made on transcripts administered from the K-12 system to denote students who engaged in supplemental learning versus students who chose not to and were assigned the grade they had as of March 13, 2020.


  • Provincial Training Allowance (PTA)
    • For students funded by PTA, funding will continue to the program end date. After this time, students must transfer to another means of financial support. Adult 12 graduates are eligible for the Canada Student Emergency Benefit (CESB).


  • Gabriel Dumont Institute Training & Employment Funded Clients:
    • GDITE funded clients whose programs are interrupted or altered will not have their income support, dependent care, and other non-travel-related allowances penalized, reduced, or cancelled.
    • Additional supports are also being offered to funded clients whose programs are interrupted or altered, who would benefit from tutoring.
    • GDITE funded clients whose programs are cancelled due to COVID-19 will be allowed a one-time amendment to program start and/or end dates.
    • GDITE clients who are still in training and applying for EI/CERB should let their employment counsellor know ASAP.
    • GDITE career, employment, and training information and services continue to be available.  Find more information here. gdins.org


COVID-19 Information Online

Residents of Saskatchewan can go to the Saskatchewan government website for reliable information related to COVID-19 in our province.


The Province of Saskatchewan has announced a phased Re-Open Saskatchewan plan to slowly lift restrictions. For details, click here.


We encourage the entire GDI community to continue to follow preventative actions, including:

  • Practice proper cough and sneezing etiquette;
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands;
  • Maintain safe food practices; and,
  • Use social distancing of two meters (six feet) between yourself and others.


The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency’s (SPSA) toll free line, 1-855-559-5502, is now being offered 24 hours, 7 days a week. The SPSA toll free line was established in order to answer non-health specific questions about the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19 Emergency Benefit Programs (summary)




Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months.


The CERB is now available if you earned $1,000 (before taxes) or less during an eligibility period. If this applies to your situation, you may be eligible to apply for a previous period, starting March 15, 2020. Click here for more information.



The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.


To begin the application process, you will be asked to answer a few simple questions. The answers you provide will help direct you to the service option that best fits your situation. See the website for more information.


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is accessible through CRA My Account or over the phone with an automated phone service. 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. For more information click here.


Employment Insurance (EI)

For those currently receiving EI benefits and who expect them to continue, you should not apply for CERB. If your EI benefits cease before October 3, 2020, then you can apply for CERB when those benefits run out, if you are unable to work because of COVID-19.


All Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, would be able to receive the CERB


Those who have applied for EI and their applications have not been processed do not have to reapply.


Those who are eligible for regular EI and sickness benefits can still access those benefits if they’re still unemployed after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.


Employment Insurance and Pension applications can be made online.


Support for Students and Recent Graduates

The federal government has put a number of programs and supports in place to help students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. These include enhanced student financial assistance for fall 2020, the Canada Student Service Grant, and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, Find out more here.


Canada Pension Plan

Apply by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-benefit/apply.html

If you have questions about the CPP, you can call 1-800-277-9914.


Old Age Security

Apply by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-security/apply.html

If you have questions about OAS, you can call 1-800-277-9914.


Help applying for a benefit

If someone needs help applying for a benefit, they can complete a service request form at: https://sr-ds.powerappsportals.com/caseintakeen/. Someone from Service Canada will call them within two days.


If community members don’t have access to the internet or have trouble using it, they can call 1-877-631-2657 for immediate assistance. This is a special line for people who previously relied on in-person services.




Saskatchewan residents who have been ordered to self-isolate and are not eligible for the federal supports can apply for the province’s self-isolation support program, which provides recipients with $900 over two weeks. The program will mainly benefit self-employed workers.


Métis Nation–Saskatchewan


Métis-specific emergency response

*Full program details and instructions available on the MN-S website

On March 31, 2020 the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) announced $2.88 million for immediate emergency COVID-19 relief measures for childcare, housing, and PPE. Below is a summary.


MN–S Emergency Housing Support Program

  • The MN–S recognizes that many people are being stretched financially and emotionally by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The MN–S Housing Support Program has been put in place to help those struggling to make ends meet.
  • MN–S has provided emergency funds to each region to assist households in meeting household expenses during COVID-19 pandemic crisis. These funds are meant to supplement, not to replace income.
  • Please note: the Regions are responsible for determining the eligibility and dollar amounts based on need for each request as funding is limited.
  • Download the application for emergency relief funds here and submit the completed application to your regional office.
  • Contact your Regional rep to register for emergency funds / 1-833-343-8391


MN–S Childcare Support

  • One-time $500 per child to a maximum of $2,500
  • Children must be under 10; registered MN–S citizens; resident of SK for the past 6 months
  • An MN–S daycare for first responders and emergency workers will also be available
  • Full criteria and online applications are available on the MN–S website.
  • You can access the application here. Submit the completed application tochildcare@mns.work.
  • Contact Lisa Fleming at lfleming@mns.work or 1-833-343-8391


MN–S Personal Protective Equipment Program

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may include hand sanitizer, masks, disinfectant cleaning supplies, gloves, clinical thermometers
  • Available to registered and self-identifying Métis
  • MN–S will access and distribute supplies and Regions will identify at-risk Métis
  • Identify need to your Regional representative / 1-833-343-8391


For further information phone the MN–S toll-free number at 1-833-343-8391.

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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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