Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 16: Language and Culture (13-17)

Province announces funding for northern Indigenous language programs

March 14, 2024
Government of Saskatchewan photo. Students from the FNUC Indigenous Teacher Education Program pose for a photo.

NationTalk: Prince Albert Daily Herald – The provincial government announced $108,800 in funding for the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) on Monday.

The funds will be used to provide new Indigenous Teacher Education Programs. The list includes a new Dene Teacher Education Program in Hatchet Lake Dene Nation, and a Cree Teacher Education Program in Waterhen Lake First Nation. Both programs will be delivered by FNUC in partnership with the University of Regina.

Dene Teacher Education Program student Bernadette Besskkaystare welcomes the news. She said it will help students who want to further their education while remaining close to home.

“This is a great opportunity because we can take classes here in our community instead of leaving and be less stressed when we are here with our families,” Besskkaystare said in a press release. “It is important that we keep our Denesuline language alive because there are many young people who cannot speak it. This teaching program will make a big difference in a few years for the community.”

Last academic year, 216 students enrolled in seven Indigenous Teacher Education Programs across Northern Saskatchewan. The province says that’s a 40 per cent increase over the year before.

Graduates can teach students in kindergarten to Grade 12 in their Indigenous language.

Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant said funding the program was an important part of meeting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action. TRC Call 16 urges post-secondary institutions to create degree and diploma programs in Indigenous lanaguages.

“Creating more opportunities for Indigenous students to access post-secondary education, particularly those living in rural and remote areas, is a priority for the Government of Saskatchewan,” Wyant said in a press release. “Our government is proud to be a part of this partnership supporting the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages in the province.”

Students who want to learn more about the programs can visit