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Objectives of the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College
The Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College is a participant in the Cultural/Educational Centers program. This program is based on the concept of Indian identity within Canadian society. It provides financial and other supportive assistance to enable Indian people to establish and operate Cultural/Educational Centers programs. The goals and objectives of the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College are as follows:
to revive and develop traditional and contemporary cultural skills of Indian people;
to conduct and facilitate research in Indian heritage and culture;
to increase Indian people's knowledge and use of their traditional languages;
to develop Indian linguistic learning resources;
to develop and test culturally oriented educational curricula, methods and material for use by established and other programs;
to develop and increase access to new and more accurate information about Indian heritage;
to improve the opportunities for the public to become knowledgeable about and sensitive to the historical and current role of Indian people in Canada.
|Chuck Thomas, President Sask. Indian Cultural College|
The philosophy and purpose of the College is based on the following principles:
The S.I.C.C. is the servant of all Saskatchewan Indians in the area of educational and cultural enhancement. The Indian people formulate its policies and programs, and they themselves yield executive authority over the institution. The fundamental aim of the College is to develop in the Indian people a positive self-image. The S.I.C.C. considers it important to bring an understanding and appreciation of Indian culture in the larger Canadian society.
The Cultural College was the first Indian controlled educational institution at the provincial level. Understandably the thrust of its energies were evolved in the concept and realization of Indian controlled education. It's mandate was to strengthen and support the overall Indian education process.
The hub of the College, the Cultural Center will be acquiring a new staff member. Mr. Angus Esperance will become the Supervisor of the Elder's Center. The Elders are still involved in the Eldership Movement. They as well will continue to play a significant role in the development of the education and retention of our cultural identity. They continue to lecture and counsel to students, inmates at various institutions.
Mr. Smith Atimoyoo, the Head Elder will be attached to the Language Institute. He will counsel and guide the development of the new institute. Mr. Atimoyoo is well known for his expertise in Cree syllabics and grammar. He as well is not leaving us totally but providing a specialized service in research and consultation in languages.
Curriculum & Research Program
The Curriculum and Research Program is also undergoing a major evaluation and directional change. The role of the Curriculum in providing guides and reference material of Indian content for school programs must now focus its energies to assisting Bands and being involved in joint projects in curriculum development. The S. I. C. C. calendar will also be changing in format. The Curriculum and Research program is currently researching and compliling a Division III History textbook reflecting real Saskatchewan Indian history. This book is to be dedicated to all the Youth of Saskatchewan, our project for the International Year of the Youth. Gail Bear, Program Director has been coordinating a display to commemorate the Indian involvement in the 1885 resistance. This display is being set up at the John Diefenbaker Center, Saskatoon Campus.
The Technical Unit comprising of audio/visual and graphic services will continue to facilitate in-hour requirements and joint productions with Bands. The unit have completed a variety of information video productions and kits on the development of Indian self-government.
A project to be undertaken by the Technical Unit is to participate in the Poundmaker Commemoration of the Cutknife Hill Battle 1885 on May 2, 1985. The Elders of the Cultural Center are organizing commemoration ceremonies and activities to coincide with the 1985 Centennary Celebrations.
The Library Department will reorganize its goals and plan activities in the promotion and development of a comprehensive library system to serve our communities. Many bands have started to develop these facilities and as the first Indian Library/Resource Center we are often consulted to provide information and assistance.
Another major project is the possible establishment of a Central Archival Center for use by all the Indian bands of Saskatchewan. Since the inception of the S.I.C.C. and F.S.I.N. we have numerous documents that are very significant in the development of Indian Nations in Saskatchewan. Many of these documents are about Treaty Rights, Taxation, Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, Education, Lands, Veterans and Elders interviews. Much documented information exists in our communities. This information should be assessed for its value and catalogued accordingly. This task will entail pursuing a foundation grant to facilitate the organization of an Archival Center. We see this as step one in the establishment of an Indian Museum.
The Library will also be producing a bi-monthly story-telling hour. Every library has a story-telling hour or corner, usually featuring characters as Winnie the Pooh and Donald Duck. Our story telling characters will be reflective of our culture and legends and oral traditions. This will be a combined effort with the Technical Unit. The technicians will film and edit these bi-monthly productions and distribute them to Band schools and to public school systems.
These are some of the directions and highlights of major projects happening at the S.I.C.C. We are pleased to report some other events that are happening.
This event took place on March 29, 1985 at Lawson Heights Bowling Lanes. Several F.S.I.N. offices, the Community College and INAC staff took up the challenge from the S.I.C.C. Much fun was had by all verified by the muscular aches and pains.
The Grand Aggregate winners were: Jeff Ahenakew, Louise Benoit, Monte Carriere, and Dutch Lerat. Congratulations!
Tentative date for the 1986 bowling tournament will be on Valentine's Day, February 14.
The Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College is in preparation for an anticipated move at the end of June. The location is not completely negotiated as of yet. We will send further notice when and before this relocation occurs.
Summer Student Employment
The Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College will be undertaking two student employment projects for University students this summer.
The one project is the completion of a Division III Historical Textbook on Saskatchewan Indian history from our perspective. We will be hiring researchers and interviewers.
The other proposal is the development of forty-six Cree basal readers. We would like to hire fluent Cree speakers.
Interested students are invited to submit applications at 917-22nd Street West (phone 244-1146).
National Cultural Centers Conference
The S.I.C.C. is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the National Cultures Centers Conference in October in Saskatoon. This will include participants from all Cultural Education Centers in Canada. This will provide an opportunity to show some good Saskatchewan hospitality!
Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute
A reorganized structure has been designed to accomodate the new directional plan. This new structure includes the Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute. As of April 1, 1985 the Saskatchewan Indian Languages Program has been amalgamated under the S.I.C.C. The Languages Program is being revamped to become the Language Institute. One objective that the College is prioritizing is cultural/language retention, and the development of linguistic learning material.
Ms. Freda Ahenakew, a well known Cree linguist from the Muskeg Lake Band will be heading the Sask. Indian Language Institute. Ms. Ahenakew has spent many years in Cree linguistics and holds a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology, Applied Linguistics in Cree Grammer. She as well worked many years with the late Mrs. Ida McLeod, who would have been happy to see the realization of her dream in an Indian Language Institute.
If we are to retain and revitalize the use of our Indian Languages, the very core of our identity and our culture, we need the will and the determination of the Indian people to make it possible. A definite start was made in this direction when the Legislative Assembly clearly expressed the will to make language retention a priority and mandated the S.I.C.C. with the responsibility of developing a Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute.
The main objectives of the S.I.L.I. is to preserve the wisdom of the Elders by recording the traditional literature and making it available in the form of printed books. This wisdom will also serve as a basis for all language teaching. We will teach the Indian languages at all levels; for those who already speak the language, the emphasis will be on reading and writing. In order to achieve these goals we need properly trained people to do the actual language teaching and recording of the literature.
The work to be carried out by S.I.L.I. both at Saskatoon and the Districts, can be expected to lay the foundation for a serious effort at language retention and revitalization.
One of the immediate goals of the S.I.L.I. will be the training of the language teachers who are already in the classroom by district workshops, off-campus university courses, and summer classes.
The long range goals is to have language specialists; as language teachers, okiskinahamakewak, language curators, okanaweyitamwak, and interpreters and translators, onihtawewak. We would also like to see a provincial standardization of Roman Orthography writing system.
We will be designing a Masters program for the people who already have a degree and who desire to specialize in Indian Languages. We dream of the day when we will offer a doctorate program.
For a change the research done by our language specialists will be by Indian people for Indian people and this would include lexical research, curriculum research and development, compiling Indian literature.
Although the S.I.L.I. awould be located in Saskatoon, the programs would be designed to reach out to the Districts, using the Satellite Colleges System. Courses will be taught at the district location while other teachers and students from districts would come to Saskatoon.
The efforts to be undertaken by S.I.L.I. will benefit all Indian language groups in the province. The results of the work of S.I.L.I. will be available to anyone who is interested; fluent speakers who want to learn reading and writing in their own language; bilinguals who want to strengthen their fluency or acquire the additional ability to read and write; and those who want to learn an Indian language.