Science, Math and Technology


Science, Math and Technology


The Science, Math and Technology Outreach Program, delivers varied educational opportunities for K-12 students at the First Nations community level. This program promotes careers in Science, Math and Technologies through mobile education for schools and Science Fairs at the Tribal Council level. The Program Coordinator also assists the Ministry of Education to develop policies and curricula that enhance learning in Science, Math and Technology for First Nations students during their Kindergarten through Grade 12 education. Traditional knowledge and the infusion of First Nations content, perspectives and ways of knowing informs the development and delivery of program initiatives.

Goals:

  • Promoting science, math and technology to First Nation youth.
  • Inspire, and involve First Nation youth in promoting traditional knowledge, and ways of knowing by reconnecting them to land based cultural teachings through active participation with the Traditional Knowledge Keeper’s, and Elder’s within their respective communities;
  • Inspire, and inform First Nation youth by promoting science, math and technological career choices ;
  • Promoting Traditional Perspectives and Ways of Knowing in science, math and technology;
  • Encouraging students to enrol in the senior science, math and technology courses;
  • Encouraging community involvement in science, math and technology education and career awareness;

Background

Science and Math Outreach is the only program run by FSIN Education and Training, as the mandate of the Secretariat is to advocate for and protect the implementation of the Inherent and Treaty Right to Education. Part of the responsibility to these rights is to ensure quality programs that respond to the ever-changing needs of the world in which we live, are available. 

The October 2012 release of the provincial government’s Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond points out that the continuation of the province’s dynamic decade will require the addition of 60,000 new workers by 2020 if the province is to meet its population target of 1.2 million.

 It has been reported by Herbert Emery from the University of Calgary in the report titled, Labour Shortages in Saskatchewan (January 2013), that “…Saskatchewan, with its booming economy, could be facing a worker shortage so severe that it could drastically hobble the province’s ultimate economic potential. While the world craves only more of Saskatchewan’s abundant natural resources, the province won’t possibly be able to keep up, due to a scarcity of workers that could be as significant as one-fifth of the labour supply by 2020.” He recommends that Saskatchewan resist hiring temporary foreign workers and focus on First Nations and Metis people who already choose to live here.

 Dr. Eric Howe, Economist at the University of Saskatchewan, in his report titled, Employment of First Nations People: Saskatchewan Lags Behind, reminds us that First Nations people made up 11.5% of Saskatchewan’s population in 2012 and will make up approximately 15.7% by 2031. Presently only 1% of the First Nations of labour force age work in renewable resource extraction which is the fastest growing sector of the booming Saskatchewan economy. Math and Science education is very important to the employment of First Nations people. Howe advocates for the education, training and ongoing support to First Nations so that a more representative workforce can be built and maintained.

Presently in each fiscal year, the Science and Math Consultant conducts:
Science Career Festivals (10) with various presenters;
School Mobile Visits (20 or more) targeting grades K-12 with hands-on science activities with students from each grade;
Science Fairs – students compete in their communities with the winners attending the Provincial First Nations Science Fair in March each year.
Canada Wide Science Fair – The provincial winners attended this national science fair for the past two years
National Aboriginal Science Camp: 5 different students between the ages of 12 to 15 are also chosen from the Saskatchewan First Nations Science Fair to attend the national science camp which is held in different regions each year.

The most pressing issue in the Science and Math program at this time is that there is not enough capacity to properly support the First Nations Education Organizations. With a single consultant, each of the 84 First Nation schools is able to experience a Science or Math event once every two and one half years. With the necessity for additional attention to be given to Math and Science education and the need to support our teachers, it would be valuable to increase staffing to accommodate additional school visits. 

For more information please contact:
Deloris Netmaker
Executive Director – Education
Education and Training Secretariat
Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations

100-103A Packham Avenue
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 4K4