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Jean Chretien, Minister of Indian Affairs,
addressing the people at the historic
signing over of the Qu'Appelle Indian
Residential School in Lebret, Saskatchewan.
The official signing ceremony
Lebret - An historic signing over of the Qu'Appelle Indian Residential School to an all Indian School Board, made it the first of its kind, on October 13,1973 at Lebret, Saskatchewan, approximately 60 miles from Regina.
The three two-year agreements signed by the Chairman of the School Board, Mrs. Alice Poitras and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Honorable Jean Chretien, makes it the first Board to take complete control in Canada.
The Board will be responsible for policy changing and the finances of the School will be the responsibility of the federal government.
For a year now, the ten member Board has been an advisory board and has unofficially been in charge of the Indian Residence since April of this year.
Mrs. Poitras of the School Board stated: "The School now being governed by local people will give it a boost." She also stated: "They are closer to the children and are in a better position to determine their educational needs."
A large gymnasium, completed last spring, was also officially opened by Mr. G. McCaw, Acting Regional Director of Indian Affairs at the signing of the agreement.
Retaining of the native heritage is very much emphasized such as the teaching of Cree and other native languages in Grades 2, 3, and 4.
The School is also affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church under the administration of Father Leonard Charron who has been administrator since 1964.
The School has two wings in the main building where four classrooms, the dormitories, and the kitchen facilities are situated. There are ten classrooms now in the School since an addition was built on in 1956.
About 222 Students from the twenty-four Bands of the Touchwood-File Hills-Qu'Appelle and the Yorkton Districts are in residence at the School and they are enrolled in Grades 2-9 with fifteen competent staff overseeing their activities.