First Nation Bank donates to Cree language school in Saskatoon

A Cree bilingual school in Saskatoon, slated for construction later this year, has received a financial boost.

While the Province of Saskatchewan funded the construction of St. Frances Cree Bilingual School, the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division says many other aspects of the school still need funding. These include specialized learning spaces, cultural spaces or playgrounds.

At the school divisions powwow in Saskatoon on Friday morning, the First Nations Bank of Canada announced a $100,000 donation to the school. The donation will be used to finance the nēhiyawitwāwin: a partnership on culture, identity and learning and a cultural education center for elders.

Success in educating Indigenous youth is necessary to increase Indigenous prosperity,” First Nations Bank of Canada CEO Keith Martell said in a press release. “St. Frances Cree Bilingual School is such a place, and we are proud to add our support.

We are very grateful for the support of Keith and the First Nations Bank of Canada to fund this space so that Elders can build the relationships needed to pass on the language, teachings and culture so that students can be safe in their First Nations identity,” added Diane Boyko, chair of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Board.

The St Frances Cree Bilingual School is expected to begin construction in late 2022.

(PHOTO: Diane Boyko, Chair of the GSCS Board of Directors, and Keith Martell, CEO of FNB, after the announcement of the donation. Photo courtesy of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Twitter account @GSCSNews.)