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Released on September 22, 2017
Today, students from Saskatoon’s Stonebridge community and Whitecap Dakota First Nation came together to celebrate the grand opening of Chief Whitecap School. The elementary school is part of a unique partnership between Whitecap Dakota First Nation, Saskatoon Public Schools and the federal and provincial governments that includes students in Grades 5-8 from Whitecap Dakota First Nation and K-8 students from Stonebridge.
“Our government congratulates Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Saskatoon Public Schools for this historic achievement that ensures all children have access to the same educational opportunities,” Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “The cooperation and teamwork from our partners have given us a school that has transformed this community and is a welcoming space for our children and families in Stonebridge and Whitecap Dakota First Nation.”
The federal government provided $2.7 million in funding to support additional space and amenities as part of the construction of Chief Whitecap School. This includes the Dakota Cultural Room, which serves as a learning space for students across Saskatoon to gain a greater understanding of Dakota culture and history.
“Today’s celebration and the resources our governments have brought together to build this unique school mark a significant milestone in Whitecap’s education partnership with Saskatoon Public Schools,” Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear said. “Most important, as our children transition into Saskatoon for the rest of their schooling and join with the children of the Stonebridge community, Chief Whitecap School gives them a home base to continue to achieve and succeed. Whitecap Dakota First Nation is honoured to have this school named after our Chief who also helped John Lake to found Saskatoon.”
“The opening of Chief Whitecap School brings a long-awaited learning environment to this newly-established community,” Saskatoon Public Schools’ Board Chair Ray Morrison said. “It also honours our educational partnership with Whitecap Dakota First Nation, a relationship built carefully like the bricks and mortar of this school. We look forward to the possibilities and achievements this unique school can bring.”
Chief Whitecap School can accommodate 850 students at full design capacity.
“Our school is unlike any other in the province as we bring together the communities of Stonebridge and Whitecap Dakota First Nation in this innovative learning facility,” Chief Whitecap School Principal Harold Robertson said. “This focus on community and relationships will help us support every student in our school to be successful.”
Chief Whitecap School shares space with St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School as part of the Joint-Use Schools Project. The project includes 18 new elementary schools at nine locations throughout the province. Each location includes a Catholic and public school, 90-space childcare centre and community space.
Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has committed approximately $1.5 billion towards 67 major school capital projects and numerous smaller projects such as portable classrooms and preventative maintenance and renewal.
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