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Indian Diploma Nursing Program Officially Opens

Gloria Ledoux

On Friday, September 30, Ron Albert, President of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies cut the ribbon to officially open the Indian Nursing Diploma Program (INDP) (at the Don Ross Centre in North Battleford). North Battleford Mayor Glen Hornich said, "The program is appropriate since we have facilities such as the Battlefords Union Hospital, Battlefords Indian Health Centre, the Saskatchewan Hospital and Regional Care Centre - your success will be ours".

Elder Henry Beaudry offered opening prayers and blessed each room with sweetgrass.

Battlefords - Meadow Lake MP John Gormley brought greetings from Bill McKnight, Minister of Indian Affairs.

Battlefords MLA, Doug Anquish, Harry Nicotine, Assistant District Representative of Battleford Treaty Number Six Tribal Council, Lloyd Legare, A/Manager of Canada Employment and Immigration, Merce Montgomery, Program Head for Diploma Nursing at Kelsey Campus; Bonnie Graham, Class President and second year student of INDP and Lila Freysteinson, Program Manager and MC for the official opening were platform guests and all brought greetings and best wishes from their respective programs.

After three years of intense negotiations and hard work, the program secured funding in 1982. In 1986, the program, in co-operation with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association got underway. On March 30, 1987 the first twenty students enrolled in the preparatory class. Nine students have gone on to second year classes at Kelsey. They will be returning to finish their last two months in North Battleford during May and June.

On February 29, twenty-four students enrolled in the second preparatory class; twenty-two students began the nursing program in August.

The Indian Nursing Diploma Program (INDP) is one of the satellite colleges of the SIIT that provides various programs to Indian, non-status and Metis throughout the province. FSIN Executive Member, "Dutch" Lerat said, "Native people will hold specialized skills in the future, having doctors, nurses and clinics is the first step toward development of hospitals and health science buildings on reserves."

Elder Henry Beaudry Left: Elder Henry Beaudry blesses each room with Sweetgrass.

Right: Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies President, Ron Albert, officially opens the program with the cutting of the ribbon.

President of SIIT, Ron Albert officially cuts ribbon

The Indian Diploma Nursing program is an accredited two-year nursing program with a five-month preparatory phase.  The preparatory phase classes are designed to prepare students academically, socially, and personally for entry into the Indian Diploma Nursing Program.

The Indian Diploma Nursing Program will prepare graduate nurses whom:

1)     Will meet the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association's (SRNA) standards for licensure as registered nurses with quality nursing          practices;
2)     Will be able to provide direct nursing care to patients of all ages in hospitals and other structured health care settings under the supervision          of qualified personnel,
3)     Will be able to provide culturally acceptable nursing care to clients of Indian ancestry.

Upon graduation, students receive a Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Applied Science and Technology (Kelsey campus) Diploma.