Gabriel Dumont Institue


Mishi Atoushkay, Moochikihtaw, Ooshihtaw lil Zistwaar

Jun 15, 2018

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By Janice R. Thompson

Work Hard, Have Fun, Make History was the theme of the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) Regina graduation ceremony which was held on May 4, 2018. More than 160 guests attended the event at the Delta Regina Hotel to honour and celebrate his year’s twelve graduates.

Reminiscent of their pre-service teacher training experiences over the four years were highlighted through the evening’s Emcee, 2017 SUNTEP Regina graduate Taylor Frei, with the Regina Public School Division, teaching in the Structured Learning Program at Glen Elm School. The guest speakers and keynote address delivered by Faculty member, Russell Fayant shared snapshots of the graduates’ experiences reflecting on their academic, professional, personal, and community milestones demonstrated through their hard work, their fun, and memorable history.

The graduates included Marsha Ash, Gary Burgess, Chad Fisher, Lesley Hanson, Hayley Unrau, Haylie Bedore (Distinction), Tara Loreth (Distinction), Garrett Legare (Distinction), Crystal Norris (Distinction), Marissa Poitras (Distinction), Elsa Ramos-McKenzie (Great-Distinction), and Kaitlyn Skilliter (Great-Distinction).

Unforgettable memories shared by each of the graduates spoke to journeys of reclaiming Indigeneity, being supported by the unwavering kindness of others, involvement with the Métis community, and the lifelong relationships showcased gratitude and evidence for the importance of SUNTEP contributing to their success in postsecondary education.

As the evening progressed, smiles, laughter, and tears remained ever present. Family members, guests, dignitaries, students, staff, and alumni shared congratulatory sentiments. The GDI Executive Director, Geordy McCaffrey, GDI Board of Governor’s representatives; Chair, Dr. Earl Cook, and Board Member, Juanita Tuharsky, University of Regina, Faculty of Education Associate Dean, Dr. Val Mulholland, and Métis Old Ones, Norma Welsh and Joe Welsh were among many to engage in the celebration. Special awards presented included; the Lebret Métis Cultural Days Scholarship to Year Three student Doug Jarvis. The Spirit of SUNTEP Award to Crystal Norris, and the 30th anniversary of the David Amyotte Memorial Award to Haylie Bedore.

Entertainment was provided by Métis fiddler Nathaniel Baker and Thom Collegiate High School First Nation Drum Group, Napewsak. Seven Stones Jiggers, led by SUNTEP Regina Alumni Alison Kimbley, also performed at the event.

As the evening drew to a close, we all extended heart-felt pride to our graduates. Hugs, handshakes, and tears wrapped up the graduation program. Once again, reminding us, that Work Hard, Have Fun, Make History will remain memorable for each of these SUNTEP Regina graduates, and proudly earned. Congratulations! A total of 269 Indigenous men and women have graduated with bachelor of education degrees from SUNTEP Regina since 1980.

(All photos below, taken by Brenna Pacholko)

Lebret Metis Cultural Days Scholarship awarded to Doug Jarvid, presented by SUNTEP Regina Faculty Member, Russel Fayant


30th Annual David Amyotte Memorial Scholarship awarded to graduate, Haylie Bedore, presented by Jacki Amyotte-Litke


Spirit of SUNTEP Award presented to graduate, Crystal Norris by SUNTEP Regina Faculty Members, Brenna Pacholko, Métis Old One, Joe Welsh, and Jennifer Reid.


SUNTEP Regina 2018 Graduating Class: (L-R)
Marsha Ash
Haylie Bedore
Gary Burgess
Chad Fisher
Lesley Hanson
Garrett Legare
Tara Loreth
Crystal Norris
Marissa Poitras
Elsa Ramos-McKenzie
Kaitlyn Skilliter
Hayley Unrau


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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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