On May 31, 2021, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS) and Wanuskewin Heritage Park Authority (WHPA) signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding aptly titled: Nitōhtem, meaning my friend.
The purpose of this MOU is to facilitate collaboration and to aid in the creation of research opportunities and programs that support First Nations land-based learning and innovative teaching practices.
The foundation of this MOU is to undertake activities that will support land-based learning and the access to Indigenous science as well anthropological, and geological learning practices that are oriented within Indigenous natural law. This collaboration will support children’s access to the WHPA site, and will facilitate enhanced learning experiences for kindergarten – Grade 12 students from GSCS schools. The agreement seeks to remove social and developmental impediments for children by establishing effective and respectful working relationships.
“I was thrilled to see all the good work that is going to happen,” said Diane Boyko, Board of Education Chair at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. “It only happens because of relationship, and relationship is something that both the school division and Wanuskewin has had in common for a very long time.”
“We’ve been part of trading partners for 6,000 years amongst different tribes, and this trade now extends to the newcomers,” said Felix Thomas, Board Chair for Wanuskewin Heritage Park. “The partnership, the friendship and the relationships that are built here will thrive for another 6,000 years because of champions like the Catholic school board.”