Following Their Voices (FTV) is a made-in-Saskatchewan education initiative designed to improve First Nations, Métis and Inuit student outcomes, including graduation rates. The initiative partners with provincial and First Nation school communities to provide ongoing training and support to school-based teams and teachers to increase student engagement. Each participating school is provided significant support when they begin the initiative and gain independence as they continue the work in their schools as provincial supports are reduced over time.
The initiative is based on research conducted with a group of Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis students, their parents, their teachers and in-school administrators. This group of people indicated strong relationships, well-managed learning environments and engaging interactions between teachers and students are important to increasing students’ ability to achieve success. Ongoing engagement, advice and guidance from a broad representation of Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis Elders and Knowledge Keepers representing all the Indigenous language groups in the province is critical to the initiative.
FTV has been successful in improving Indigenous student engagement and achievement. Over the last school year, engagement measures related to student-teacher relations are at or above provincial averages. As well, since 2014-15, there has been a 12.5 per cent increase in credit attainment and a 14.3 per cent increase in three-year graduation rates in FTV schools.
A partnership with Indigenous Services Canada supported the implementation of Following Their Voices in participating First Nation schools; 2018-19 was the second year of the three-year agreement. A total of 11 First Nation schools participated in implementing Following Their Voices in 2018-19.
Since 2014-15, Following Their Voices has expanded to include:
- 39 schools;
- 752 school staff members; and
- 36,335 participating students, with 14,081 self-declaring as First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
For more information, visit www.followingtheirvoices.ca.
Source: Ministry of Education, August 2019