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SIIT Celebrates Quarter Century of Growth: 1976-2001

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FALL 2001      v30 n03 p04  
The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) has come along ways in the last 25 years. In honour of its quarter century of growth, SIIT's Anniversary Committee hosted a variety of events including a gala dinner, alumni luncheon, and trade show on Thursday, June 14 and culminated with a province wide convocation for the 2001 graduating class on Friday, June 15, 2001.

Indian Education is a constant celebration of jurisdictional reality for Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. SIIT continues to experience tremendous growth in all its programs and services. The amount of diverse certificate and diploma programs have evolved into positive outcomes for both the Indian controlled institution and First Nation students.

Establishing partnerships with the corporate community and various government agencies are key components in fostering distinct and advanced opportunities to ensure SAT's future in the post-secondary, vocational/technology, community programs, employee development courses, applied programming, academic preparation, RCMP preparation program and satellite college based education systems.

"Partnerships between SIIT business and industry have become increasingly necessary. SIIT presently has partnerships with SaskTel, the RCMP, Cisco Systems, the Saskatchewan Construction Association, the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship Branch, and many other organizations across Canada," explains SIIT President, Joan Greyeyes. "Maintaining and establishing new partnerships is crucial in the development of existing or new programs and also the employment of SIIT graduates." Greyeyes adds.

Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies - 25 Years Celebrating Our Past
Connecting Our Future
Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies - 25 Years

"SIIT's approximate enrollment at this time is 1700 students and growing, this number makes SIIT the largest Aboriginal post-secondary institution in Canada" says Greyeyes. Greyeyes believes that student enrollment is increasing as a result of quality administration and SIIT's diverse program availability.

Having lived on Muskeg Lake Reserve as a youth, Joan Greyeyes knows the significance of achieving academic studies, "the role that Saskatchewan First Nations youth will be playing in the years to come is very important to SIIT, as these are both our present and future students. These are the individuals that SIIT is hoping to attract into our programs, and eventually, employees that SIIT will be marketing to both business and industry."

Today, in terms of Saskatchewan's job market, SIIT has been able to contribute to the overall provincial employment base and statistics, as a positive First Nation academic institution. The number of graduates finding secure employment opportunities is approximately 80 percent, which is considered a remarkable achievement by government agencies, private/public labour sectors and First Nation governments.

SIIT's head office is located on the Asimakaniseekan Askiy Reserve, 100 103A Packham Avenue, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. SIIT is now considered a leading institution in Saskatchewan with campuses throughout the province, " the location of the SIIT campuses enables the

SIIT Celebrates Quarter Century of Growth: 1976-2001

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FALL 2001      v30 n03 p17  
institution to meet the training needs for different areas of the province. The locations also assist SIIT in our visibility and encourage students to seek out program offerings in those specific communities."

Saskatoon Campus (306) 373-4777
North Battleford Campus (306) 445-9400
Prince Albert Campus (306) 953-7225
Meadow Lake Campus (306) 236-7620
Yorkton Campus (306) 782-3644
Fort Qu'Appelle Campus (306) 332-8240
Onion Lake Campus (306) 344-2525
Regina Campus (306) 546-2945
La Ronge Campus (306) 425-5758

Greyeyes' vision of incorporating new dialogue to existing Indian education autonomy has just been empowered by the application of the SIIT Act on July 01, 2000. "The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Act which was legislated by the Province of Saskatchewan in July, 2000, is unique not only in the Province of Saskatchewan, but in Canada" she says. "In Saskatchewan, there are only four institutions that are legislated by the province - the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) and now SIIT."

This new legislation will allow SIIT, to be more independent from restricted government funding guidelines. This shift in Indian education policy is a great accomplishment that was developed through strategic SIIT negotiating and planning.

By providing this form of holistic and developmental approach to each specific program, SIIT is ensuring healthier and vibrant First Nation communities. These communities will be able to prosper and better serve the future generations of tomorrow. For the future of the SIIT it is sure to be another cornerstone for Indian controlled education as a proficient and accountable institution that will continue to provide remarkable innovation to its mandate and program delivery into the 21st century.