Jan 7, 2020
As is always a December tradition at Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI), the Institute employees across the province held year end luncheons to mark the end of the year and kick off the holiday season.
In Saskatoon, the luncheon and employee appreciation was held on December 20, 2019 at the Saskatoon Inn. The event brought together GDI Board members as well as employees from the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) Saskatoon, Finance and Operations, Gabriel Dumont College, Culture and Heritage Department, Dumont Technical Institute, and Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment.
Dr. Earl Cook, the GDI Board Chair, thanked the Institute staff and board members for their dedication and hard work, noted that “GDI is the leading Métis post-secondary institution in Canada.”
Executive Director Geordy McCaffrey highlighted successes of all GDI companies and programs during 2019. Some highlights are presented below.
GDI Training & Employment
We became the first Métis organization to deliver on the Canada-Métis Post-Secondary Accord. More than 470 Métis students in Saskatchewan were approved for funding through the Métis Nation University Sponsorship program.
The GDI Indigenous Apprenticeship Program has resulted in more than 500 new jobs since 2017. Because of our impressive results, GDI will receive $1.15M in additional federal funds to strengthen the program.
Over the past year, almost 1,800 Métis clients accessed GDI Training and Employment programs across all Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) regions, an increase of 100% from the previous year. Further, GDI Training and Employment served 102 clients with self-identified disabilities – the largest number on record.
Dumont Technical Institute
In the 2018-2019 school year, Dumont Technical Institute had a total enrolment of 940 students in its programs across. This was the largest enrolment in DTI history.
DTI delivered the Indigenous Birth Support Worker program in partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, GDI T&E, and Saskatoon Tribal Council this fall. It is the first program of its kind in Saskatchewan. The program registered 100% graduation rate, and 90% of graduates found jobs with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
To date, 322 individuals have graduated from the Practical Nursing program. This is very significant given that more than 50% of healthcare professionals in Saskatchewan received their training outside Saskatchewan.
Gabriel Dumont College
25 students in the Community-based Master of Education program in Prince Albert graduated last summer. To date, a total of 70 students have earned their Master of Education degrees at GDI.
In September, we launched a new teacher education program in La Ronge. The four-year Northern Saskatchewan Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NSITEP) will help address challenges for teacher recruitment and retention in Northern Saskatchewan. GDI is offering the program in partnership with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the University of Regina.
Over the past year, the Gabriel Dumont Scholarship Foundation (GDSF) awarded 400 scholarships worth $448,800 to Métis students. This was the largest amount of student financial assistance in the history of the Institute.
The number of our employees has been increasing by an average of about 5% annually over the past five years. Last year, 213 people were working at GDI – the largest number in the Institute history. Almost one out of every four (23%) of our employees has been with the Institute for more than 10 years.
Métis Culture and Heritage
The GDI Publishing Department was renamed the Métis Culture and Heritage Department to reflect our broad cultural mandate. The Department moved to a brand new location. It also produced Northern Michif To Go app that has been quite popular.
Karon Shmon, the Director of Métis Culture and Heritage, was honoured by the University of Saskatchewan for her contribution to Indigenous education. Dr. Cook thanked outgoing board members Glenn Lafleur and Jimmy Durocher, for their service to the Institute and the Métis Nation. Mr. Lafleur represented the MN–S Northern Region I on the GDI Board, while Mr. Durocher has been the representative of Northern Region III.
By James Oloo