Regina, June 22, 2020 – Each year, the month of June serves to remind us of the role First Nations people played in establishing our communities here in Saskatchewan and elsewhere in Canada. June is National Indigenous History Month and June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. The numbered treaties are solemn agreements establishing shared use of territories and resources in order to coexist harmoniously in the environment in which we find ourselves. First Nations people knew the riches of the land, the sources of water, the contributions of animals, the secrets of plants, the benefits of sharing and the importance of giving back to the land, long before the arrival of newcomers from away.
Each of our school, wherever it is in Saskatchewan, was erected in a place that was known to Plains people long before the advent of the explorers and the railroad. This place was mapped, appreciated, and used by loving families who respected traditions, long before land surveyors and urban planners from elsewhere planned to build cities and villages hooked on the technologies of the industrial era. Long before settlers arrived, other peoples had crisscrossed these lands we inhabit.
What has made possible the emergence of our Fransaskois communities -- and the prosperity of these communities -- are the treaties, ratified thanks to the wisdom of the ancient ones. These treaties govern aspects of our lives, of our activities that go far beyond their legal character. Treaties are a moral legacy for all citizens. We are all Treaty People. We give thanks to those who had the greatness of soul and spirit to allow that Treaties 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 be ratified to provide a framework for our lives in Saskatchewan. As a Francophone minority school division, we aspire to respect the treaties and the inherent spirit of benevolence which continues to guide our collective endeavour as a society.
"These values are taught to our students in the classroom," notes Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CÉF) Director of Education / CEO, Ronald Ajavon. "The appreciation of First Nations' journey and the influences engendered by contact with the multiple facets of indigeneity contribute to students’ success at the CÉF. "
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French first-language school today, bilingual Francophone for life! - Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CÉF) is home to 2,000 Prekindergarten to Grade 12 students in 15 elementary and secondary schools across the province. Financed by the Ministry of Education, it is the only French as a first language school board in Saskatchewan.
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