Jul 10, 2023
May is always a milestone month for students and faculty at Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP). Each year families, friends, and communities gather to celebrate the success and hard work of SUNTEP graduations across the province. This year, SUNTEP graduated 40 Indigenous educators!
In congratulatory remarks to all students, Lisa Bird-Wilson, Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) Executive Director, stated, “With nearly 1,500 SUNTEP grads to date, there is not a classroom in Saskatchewan without a SUNTEP graduate. I want to affirm how special SUNTEP is to Métis students. You are all role models in Métis education; thanks to you, Métis children across the province will see themselves in the curriculum and classroom.”
The SUNTEP Regina graduation was held on May 5th for four outstanding graduates. The 2023 graduation theme was resilience, which was very fitting for students that persevered through two years of pandemic uncertainty. The “Order of the Sash” was presented to each graduate along with a beautiful leather portfolio for their Bachelor of Education degrees. Both hold significant importance to Métis cultural pride and identification.
The following day, on May 6th, SUNTEP Saskatoon hosted a graduation celebration for its 17 graduates. Raquel Prosser, a 2023 SUNTEP Saskatoon graduate, shared that the most influential part of her experience at SUNTEP was finding her identity as a Métis woman and discovering her passion for anti-racist and anti-oppressive education. After graduation, Raquel plans to find a position in the school system and continue her education journey.
SUNTEP Prince Albert hosted the final graduation celebration for the month on May 18th. Nineteen graduates walked across the stage and received their diplomas and Métis sashes. During opening greetings, Superintendent of Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division Neil Finch congratulated all SUNTEP graduates and commended the program for their long-standing partnership. “Over 60 of our classrooms are impacted by SUNTEP graduates and students every day; at least 25% of our teachers are from SUNTEP. Each brings a breath of fresh air into classrooms with new ideas and care for students,” said Finch.
With another year successful year of graduations in the books, GDI and SUNTEP look forward to the fall when a new cohort of students will begin their studies at SUNTEP. Congratulations to the SUNTEP Class of 2023!