In the last decade the number of Indigenous students graduating from high school across Saskatchewan has nearly doubled.
In the community of Ile la Crosse, Jim Durocher remembers people could only go up to grade eight in the community because they had no high school.
“I remember when I was growing up we didn’t even have any graduates,” he said. “Nobody graduated. the highest they taught was grade 8 and after that you were on your own and if you didn’t have the money or your parents didn’t have jobs you couldn’t go.”
He said thanks to the community, staff and parents helping out they have almost 100 per cent graduation rate.
“Now since we took over control of our own school board things have changed that was one of the issues that we talked about when we took over the schools years and years ago and its happening now as we have one of the highest graduating classes in the whole province of Saskatchewan. I think the majority of Canada as well,” said Durocher.
The high school principal of Rossignol High School, Vince Ahenakew said it takes a village to raise a child.
“I think it’s to do with the staff as well and the kids and parents about taking an interest in their child’s education. but at the same time monitoring them as they go and making sure they are taking the classes as a staff here we colour code classes for them like blue is for grade 10 make sure they take these ones,” he said.
An example of exceptional success of the community making their children’s education a priority is Junior Mayor & SRC President, Jeremy Corrigol.
“I am a graduate this year of Rosalind high school heading to SIIT in Saskatoon for business and I want to pursue business in the restaurant industry,” said Corrigol.
The outspoken teenager just graduated from high school and is on to bigger things. He plans to study business and use his Metis culture and traditional food knowledge as a business opportunity.
“I want to incorporate the metis style foods with modernized cuisine so i want to get moose duck rabbit and i want to put them into a more modernized style of presenting food and more modernized and get them into more restaurants today,” he said.