Gabriel Dumont Institue

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SUNTEP Celebrates 2021 Graduates Virtually

By Desirae Barker

Jun 3, 2021

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SUNTEP Regina 2021 Graduates

Earlier this month, the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Programs (SUNTEP) in Saskatoon, Regina, and Prince Albert celebrated the class of 2021 with virtual graduation ceremonies.

This is the second year in a row that SUNTEP has held virtual graduation ceremonies due to the pandemic. “I remember the day when all SUNTEP students were instructed to leave the campus. It was not easy, but they all adapted to the changes and continued to support each other. These brave students have adapted, collaborated, and exceeded all expectations. They not only survived, but they also thrived. Masked and sanitized, they all faced the most challenging extended practicum internship in the history of SUNTEP,” said Bonnie Novotny, Program Head SUNTEP Prince Albert.

Despite the challenges this year has presented, the students remained successful, and the staff and faculty were able to create a memorable virtual event for all graduates. A total of 42 graduated from SUNTEP this year; Saskatoon (15), Regina (11), and Prince Albert (16). To date, there have been 1,397 SUNTEP graduates.

SUNTEP Saskatoon held its virtual graduation on May 1, 2021. Tate McDougall, 2021 SUNTEP graduate, and valedictorian said, “The virtual graduation ceremony was a good send-off for our graduating class during these hard times. Organizers Sheila Pocha, Tasha Neveu, Kennedy Halcro, and emcee Connor Johnston made our ceremony one to remember. The many kind words and thank-yous from staff and former staff from SUNTEP, the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI), the College of Education, as well as friends, family, and supporters of the program, all made the best of the situation.”

SUNTEP Regina gifted its graduates with a Métis Sash and leather portfolio before their virtual celebration on May 7, 2021. Each graduate submitted their photos which were shared online. Brenna Pacholko, SUNTEP Regina Faculty member and alum, welcomed the graduates stating, “We have some fabulous new educators entering our profession!”

SUNTEP Prince Albert held its virtual graduation on May 13, 2021. Each graduate was featured in the video introducing themselves, sharing their memories within SUNTEP, future plans, and thanking the staff and faculty. Kyle Boettcher, SUNTEP 2021 graduate, explains that his favourite SUNTEP memory were the fall camps, “We were so fortunate to have everyone come together with elders and start the year in a good way.”

Geordy McCaffrey, GDI Executive Director, shared his congratulations with all 2021 graduates. He stated, “I’d like to congratulate this year’s graduating class. You’ve made us all proud, and you’ve made your families proud. I look forward to following your careers in the future and seeing all the wonderful things that you will do in that career.”

Congratulations to the SUNTEP Class of 2021!! The SUNTEP Saskatoon (https://youtu.be/gvkQ0upmXZ4) and Prince Albert (https://youtu.be/MN4_PlOP3ls) virtual graduation ceremonies are still available to view online via the GDI YouTube.

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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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