June 24, 2022 - Parkland School Division is growing by one school next year.
In a unique opportunity and partnership in Treaty No. 8 Territory with Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation, and Fort Chipewyan Métis, Parkland School Division will assume operation of Athabasca Delta Community School, in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, effective the start of the 2022-2023 school year.PSD has been invited to enter into this relationship alongside the three Nations as they work towards forming a Community Education Authority, at which time they will ultimately assume operation of the school. PSD will serve as the Education Authority in the interim.
“We are pleased to welcome the opportunity this new partnership represents.” stated Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief, Allan Adam
“It is critical for the future of our youth that their education not only recognizes and acknowledges Indigenous knowledge, wisdom, tradition and culture but also incorporates it directly. We believe this will not only benefit our youth, but our community and our Nation, and these additional benefits will create a stronger future for everyone. We look forward to the eventual transition to community-led education in Fort Chipewyan, and this initial step moves us closer to this goal.”
“We are incredibly pleased that Parkland School Division will be taking over the educational services of our children and youth. There has been an education crisis in Fort Chipewyan for a number of years.” stated Mikisew Chief, Peter Powder.
“This prompted the Mikisew Cree First Nation to start focusing on our youth and adults who required hands-on education in order to get them to grade level. I cannot be happier that our children and families will now be receiving a better quality education here in their own community.”
“We are honoured to have PSD join us as Fort Chipewyan moves forward in our plans for the education of our children,” exclaimed Fort Chipewyan Metis Association President, Kendrick Cardinal.
“We thank the PSD Board and Division staff for their decision to partner with us and our community is excited to have our children experience a new educational approach. This new partnership with PSD is an exciting opportunity for our community to not only learn, but to share with PSD our ways of learning, and incorporating traditional teachings into a school curriculum. We are proud of what we have to offer and look forward to this being a partnership that holds space for the true values of reconciliation.”
PSD Superintendent Shauna Boyce is enthusiastic about the opportunity to grow. “I am excited to learn from the expertise and knowledge held by members of the communities of Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations and the Fort Chipewyan Métis. There is so much they offer in terms of land-based learning and Indigenous ways of knowing and being that we will be able to apply in every one of our PSD schools.”
“In return, we hope to authentically offer our wide range of human resources and expertise to do what we do best, which is to guide students towards our Ultimate Goal of Student Success & Well-being.” stated Superintendent Shauna Boyce. “This is a unique and amazing opportunity we hope will be the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.”
“In the spirit of what is in the best interest of the students and community of Fort Chipewyan, we are happy to transition operation of ADCS to Parkland School Division. We are very supportive of the move and will do what is needed to ensure there is a smooth transition.” stated Northland School Division Superintendent, Dr. Nancy Spencer Poitras.
About Fort Chipewyan
Sitting at the northwest tip of Lake Athabasca, Fort Chipewyan is one of the most northern communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, one that strives for a balance between urban and natural settings in Treaty No. 8 Territory. There are about 980 residents living in the hamlet, making it the second-largest community in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Many of the residents of Fort Chipewyan are Mikisew Cree First Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and Fort Chipewyan Métis. Surrounded by nature, Fort Chipewyan can only be accessed by plane or boat in the summer and by a winter road in the winter.
About Athabasca Delta Community School
In 2021-2022, the school community included a staff of 25 including 14 certificated teachers supporting 150 students.
For further information, contact:
|Parkland School Division
|Mikisew Cree First Nation
|Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
|Fort Chipewyan Métis Association