The philosophy of "Indian control of Indian education" has its roots in Saskatchewan. Over the past two decades, Saskatchewan Indigenous 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 Indigenous Cultural Centre and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations have served as the foundation for programs such as ITEP, SUNTEP and NORTEP.
In 1969, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (formerly Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations) 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 (now Assembly of First Nations) 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 Indigenous control of Indigenous 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 Indigenous education in Saskatchewan remains bright.