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Fostering Inclusivity and Respect

Fostering Inclusivity and Respect

Below is a listing of the 2023-24 programs and services connected to the theme Fostering Inclusivity and Respect. A complete description of Saskatchewan’s Children and Youth Strategy is found in the Executive Summary.


1. Accessibility and Inclusion

Program/Initiative Purpose Partners
Alternative Format Materials (AFM) Library Alternate format materials are used by students who have a visual impairment or other physical condition which makes using standard print difficult. This includes large print, Braille, audio, e-text and kits. Ministry of Education and Saskatoon Public School Division
Be Kind Online Government funding provides youth access to Be Kind Online grants that encourage youth to make positive change in their schools and communities.>br />
The Be Kind Online website provides resources to students, teachers, families and community members.
Ministry of Education, SaskTel
Children Communicating, Connecting and in Community (4Cs) The program provides access to early educational intervention to support the development of communication skills for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Both oral and signed instruction options will be available to support the communication choice of families. Ministry of Education and school divisions
Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) CIF makes effective investments in community-based projects and programs that contribute to the healthy growth and development of children and youth, individual and community well-being, as well as developing leadership capacity throughout the province. Community Initiatives Fund, Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation and Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport
Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP) A home visiting program for children experiencing or at-risk of developmental disabilities or delays. They work with the child to provide developmental assessment and curriculum-based intervention to increase the developmental skill level of the child. Additionally, they help increase the family’s parenting skills, connect families to community resources, and transition children successfully to school or other community-based supports as necessary. Ministry of Education, two school divisions, 12 community-based organizations, parents
Gender and Sexual Diversity Key resources to support gender and sexually diverse youth are found in the Deepening the Discussion document and online portal. The online portal encourages the school, family and community to work together to enhance the physical and social environments to support student health and well-being. Ministry of Education
Income Assistance Advisory Group The ministry established an Income Assistance Advisory Group in March 2019. This advisory group replaced the Program Implementation Advisory Team (PIAT). The advisory group provides advice and feedback on the development of Income Assistance policies, programs and services that will best meet the needs of vulnerable Saskatchewan people. Membership includes six individuals who represent the disability community, Indigenous organizations, those with lived experience and community-based organizations that serve vulnerable people. Ministry of Social Services
Multi-lingual and Video Interpretation Services Over the Phone (OPI) and Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) services to school divisions to reduce the impact of language barriers between the school and family. Ministry of Education
Public Libraries Supporting Children and Families with Unique Reading Needs Children and youth have access to reference and leisure reading materials in alternate formats to develop and maintain a love of reading throughout their lifetime. These include dyslexia-friendly materials. Ministry of Education provides access to materials to users of the 11 public library systems
Public Libraries Supporting Newcomers with Multilingual Resources Access to numerous leisure reading books in world languages. These books help newcomer children and their families retain their heritage language. In addition to assisting with secondary language acquisition, heritage language retention also provides many social, cultural and cognitive benefits. Many public libraries also provide free services and programs to assist newcomer children and their families. Ministry of Education provides access to materials to users of the 11 public library systems
Saskatchewan Abilities Council - Camp Easter Seal Providing assistance for people with disabilities to attend Camp Easter Seal to improve their social and recreational skills. Ministry of Health, SaskAbilities
Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability and Saskatchewan Income Support programs – enhanced service delivery options Both the Saskatchewan Income Support and the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability now have online-application processes, in addition to phone and in-person options, providing greater choice for clients. The online option includes the ability to upload documents, securely update their personal information and review information about their benefits.

As part of the 2023-24 provincial budget, the government expanded a new mobile workforce initiative to better support clients with complex challenges. This initiative was developed in response to conversations with community-based organizations regarding the challenges some clients face. The goal is to reduce barriers for individuals and families, and better engage with community-based organizations in joint case planning, reduce service gaps and accelerate the path to stability for clients with high needs
Ministry of Social Services
Sask Lotteries Funded Programs These programs initiate and sustain the participation of children and youth in new or existing arts, sports, cultural and recreational activities that advance their life skills, enhance their sense of belonging, and foster pride in their accomplishments and leadership skills. Over 12,000 sport, culture, recreation and community organizations benefit through grant funding or other programs and services. Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, Sport Canada, Sask Sport, SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA)

2. Reconciliation

Program/Initiative Purpose Partners
Awasisak Awi Pekiwehwak- The Children Are Coming Home Focuses on connecting Indigenous children in group home care to their culture and to family-based care. By engaging communities and children through celebration, ceremonies and cultural practices, the program aims to reduce the number of Indigenous children living in group care by building relationships between children and their extended families, home communities, Elders and Chief and Councils. Ministry of Social Services, Indigenous Consultants, First Nation Child and Family Services agencies and First Nation bands
Cowessess Coordination Agreement The first in Canada where Cowessess First Nation exercised jurisdiction over child welfare both on and off reserve according to An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. Indigenous children and families are supported by their communities and within their own customs and cultural traditions. Cowessess First Nation, Ministries of Social Services, Justice and Attorney General, Government Relations, Intergovernmental Affairs and Finance
Family Finders Supports the First Nation agencies’ efforts in searching for family members to be caregivers for children in care, the completion of safety assessments for family to provide care and supporting family caregivers. Ministry of Social Services and First Nation Child and Family Service agencies
Following Their Voices Designed to improve First Nations, Métis and Inuit student outcomes by changing student-teacher relationships, interactions, teacher instructional practices and the learning environment in order to engage and support students. Ministry of Education, school divisions, First Nations schools, Elders, students, researchers
Indigenous Awareness Training All ministry staff are required to attend Indigenous Awareness Training. It is expected that participants will:
enhance their appreciation and understanding of Indigenous peoples' history and social context that contributes to contemporary issues; and gain knowledge and awareness that will enhance relationships and the delivery of services to Indigenous people within the organization and with the public.
All human services ministries
Indigenous Post-Secondary Education and Student Success Initiatives The Ministry of Advanced Education provides operational funding to support Indigenous post-secondary institutions and programs, as well as targeted funding to support Indigenous student success initiatives.

Saskatchewan is home to three Indigenous post-secondary institutions: First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv), Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), and Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI)/Dumont Technical Institute (DTI) which specialize in Indigenous knowledge and provide Indigenous culturally responsive programming and learning environments for all students.

The Ministry of Advanced Education provides targeted funding to Saskatchewan Polytechnic for its Indigenous Student Success Strategy and to SIIT for its Student Support Services Model. The ministry also supports GDI’s Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP), FNUniv’s Dene Teacher Education Program (DTEP), Mitac’s Indigenous Pathways internship program, and three new Indigenous Languages Scholarships at FNUniv to support the revitalization of Indigenous languages in Saskatchewan.

Several post-secondary institutions have specific Indigenous strategic plans, developed in partnership with Indigenous communities and leaders:
  • University of Saskatchewan’s ohpahotân | oohpaahotaan (“Let’s Fly Up Together”)
  • University of Regina’s Tapwewin kwayaskwastâsowin, Truth and Putting Things Right
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Miyo Wahkohtowin: Indigenous Student Success Strategy

All post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan are taking action to advance reconciliation and are leading the way in promoting public dialogue and initiatives for truth and reconciliation.

Ministry of Advanced Education and post-secondary institutions
Inspiring Success: First Nations and Métis PreK-12 Education Policy Framework Supports reconciliation, treaty education, Indigenous cultures and languages in education, as well as the infusion of Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing into all renewed curricula to benefit all learners. Ministry of Education, First Nations and Métis organizations, Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers, post-secondary and provincial Prekindergarten to Grade 12 school divisions
Invitational Shared Services Initiative Brings together the provincial education system and First Nations education authorities to support students living on-reserve attending provincial schools. Ministry of Education, school divisions and First Nations
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Community Response Fund Aligning with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Response to the National Inquiry into MMIWG, in 2023-24, $400,000 of provincial funding is being matched by federal funding for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls+ Community Response Fund. This initiative supports Indigenous women and girls by providing funds to generate self-determined solutions to the issues identified by the National Inquiry. Ministry of Government Relations partnered with four Indigenous representatives to develop the criteria for the fund
Opikinawasowin (OPIK) A traditional approach that can be used in dealing with child and family program issues and ensures that the voice of the child is at the centre of all planning. It is operated as a circle by a group of Elders who review the cases in detail and make recommendations to the court or Child and Family Programs. Ministry of Social Services and Elders
Saskatchewan Family Literacy Hub Program Family Literacy Hubs (FLHs) are designated service providers within a geographic region that work with libraries, schools, and community partners to provide family literacy programs, services, and supports for families. FLHs are offered an additional $5,000 to specifically engage with Indigenous community within their region to support family literacy. The Ministry of Education offers this additional funding support to one school division, two post-secondary institutions, five community-based organizations
Saskatchewan Indigenous Subject Headings (SK ISH) Under the umbrella of the Multitype Library Board (MLB), a collaborative project within the library sector was undertaken to engage with Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan to update the terms used in libraries to describe places, group names, languages or cultural practices. The results of this work will be available for use by all Saskatchewan libraries October 2023. The Ministry of Education, public, post-secondary, school and special libraries in the province
Sawêyihtotân project The ministry works in partnership with the Saskatoon Tribal Council through the Sawêyihtotân project that provides outreach and follow-up support to vulnerable and homeless individuals, including youth, in Saskatoon. The program is an Indigenous – led initiative that uses case management approaches that are culturally relevant and safe, including access to spiritual guidance and cultural supports. Ministry of Social Services
Talking Circles Talking Circles are a traditional approach to include all voices for case planning with children, youth and families and their support system. Talking circles create a safe, culturally responsive approach for discussion and decision making so everyone is heard, respected and valued equally. Ministry of Social Services and Indigenous organizations

3. Youth Voices

Program/Initiative Purpose Partners
Education Provincial Youth Council Provides advice and insights on education policies, curriculum, programs and priorities. Members have an important role in providing advice and insights that contribute to the delivery of education. Ministry of Education, students in grades 11-12
Saskatchewan Youth in Care and Custody Network (SYICCN) The SYICCN is a non-profit organization that advocates and supports youth, aged 14-24, in or from foster care/young offender systems. Located in Regina, the SYICCN is mandated to help set up local 'networks' throughout Saskatchewan and develop strategies that empower youth in and from the system. Ministry of Social Services
Youth Advisory Teams Provide guidance on the supports and services important to them, as the ministry develops and implements a comprehensive Youth Engagement Strategy to connect youth in care to assorted services and supports as they transition to independence. The teams are led by a provincial youth coordinator and supported by a community partner in each location. Ministry of Social Services, EGADZ in Saskatoon, John Howard Society in Regina and Prince Albert Outreach in Prince Albert
Youth’s Voice – Cultural Connection Children and youth are provided opportunities to share their voice in any decisions that may have an impact on their life when able to do so and includes participation in completing their own Cultural Connections Plan. Ministry of Social Services, Saskatchewan Youth in Care and Custody Network

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