Celebrating a successful first year for the Iyeskuwiiu in-community Springboard to a DCS

The Cree School Board is proud to congratulate 15 exceptional students who completed the Iyeskuwiiu Springboard to a Diploma of College Studies (DCS) program earlier this month.

Iyeskuwiiu is a first in many ways: It is a post-secondary program created from the ground up through consultations with Cree people, including Elders, knowledge-keepers, entities, and Cree post-secondary students. It is also an in-community post-secondary program, so students were able to take from their home communities. It is also fully accredited, allowing students to earn CEGEP credits that they can apply to a post-secondary program at any English College in Quebec.

Watch our video to see some highlights of the Completion Ceremony and successes of the program:

For Nian Matoush, Director of Adult Education, the success of the program shows the importance of uplifting Cree voices and creating Cree-centric educational opportunities for graduates.

“Iyeskuwiiu is a fundamentally Cree program. It was built through intensive consultation with our people. Students learned from sources written by Eeyouch/Eenouch, they heard from 14 different guest speakers from across the Cree Nation, they met with other motivated students and learned from one another. Now, moving forward from this program, we hope they will apply the knowledge and confidence they gained to contribute to the future of the Cree Nation.”

Sarah Pash, Chairperson of the Cree School Board, sees the program as an important step towards self-determination in education:

“I look forward to the continuation of this college preparation program, and to our board’s evolution as a tool in self-determination in education. Doing things our own way, in a way that makes sense for us and honours our Eeyou identity for the future.”

We extend our sincere thanks to all who made this program a success, and our deepest congratulations to the first cohort of Iyeskuwiiu on their historic achievement! A special thank you to John Abbott College for its continued partnership in offering this in-community program. We look forward to continued partnership as we welcome the next cohort of the Iyeskuwiiu Springboard to a DCS program in August 2022.

Cree School Board

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