Article By: Chelsea Laskowski, April 29, 2019 Photo By: David Stobbe

Chief Evan Taypotat did not become a leader on his home reserve of Kahkewistahaw First Nation by chance.

The seed was sown decades ago within his family unit, which included extended family, and was nurtured within the schools he attended.
Along the way, he learned how a good education and motivated teachers can build a person up.

That’s why he hopes a new partnership with the University of Saskatchewan will produce leaders and teachers in his community.

On July 13, 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the College of Education, the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) and the Kahkewistahaw First Nation, bringing a four-year bachelor of education curriculum to Kahkewistahaw First Nation, located about 150 kilometres east of Regina.

While Taypotat himself received his education degree on the USask campus, this program is unique in that it brings teachers to the reserve and lets students learn without having to leave their home community. This past fall, the program welcomed its first 15 students.

“I think all 15 of the [students] may have families and children, and it’s unrealistic to think that [we] can move 15 people to Saskatoon to be in ITEP. So we told them we are going to bring this program to the First Nation,” he said.

The idea all started with a conversation Taypotat had with his former ITEP classmate Chris Scribe (BEd’05, MEd’12) at a powwow in the summer of 2017.

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