The philosophy of Indian control of Indian education has its roots in Saskatchewan. Over the past two decades, Saskatchewan Indian leaders have recognized education as a priority and as a result have become pioneers in the field throughout North America. Ground-breaking partnerships between the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Education, the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians have served as the foundation for programs such as the ITEP, SUNTEP and NORTEP.
In 1969, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians undertook the first major education development, the Education Task Force. At that time, Chief Dave Ahenakew mandated his executive director Sol Sanderson to conduct the task force. The task force was headed by Rodney Soonias and developed a comprehensive statement of the state of Indian education in Saskatchewan. The two volume report became the watershed for Indian control of Indian education.
In 1972, the National Indian Brotherhood education committee chaired by Clive Linklater, developed a statement on Indian control of Indian education. This statement went forward and in 1973 was endorsed by the Canadian Government.
The future for Indian control of Indian education in Saskatchewan is limited only by the imagination of the people involved. We still have many areas to be developed and we still have a rapidly growing population that needs to be serviced. The future for Indian education in Saskatchewan remains bright.