Statement from Council: Chief Beardy Memorial Elementary School

For Immediate Release

April 13, 2016

Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation, Treaty 6 – “Our Council is aware of the on-going situation at the Chief Beardy Memorial Elementary School and are working diligently with appropriate agencies – including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Willow Cree Education staff, Child and Family Services, and Willow Cree Health – to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.

We understand there are many concerns in the community, but due to the highly sensitive nature of the allegations, we are not able to divulge confidential information. In order to protect the alleged victims from further trauma, we request that community members refrain from speculation.

We can confirm that a part-time employee with the Chief Beardy Memorial Elementary School has been terminated for cause and that the matter is in the hands of the criminal justice system.

We also want to reassure our community that our actions thus far have been guided by the Saskatchewan Child Abuse Protocol of 2014 and that all resources that can be made available to assist the victims has been called upon and has been made available. Our first priority is that our children and families feel safe and have the necessary counselling, mental health supports, and spiritual guidance they require. More resources and support may be called upon if required to assist our community.

We appreciate all concerns but ask that everyone respect the privacy of the alleged victims and their families. Additional information may be released as the situation warrants.

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For more information, please contact:

Councillor in charge or Director, Willow Cree Education,  – 306.467.4441

Media Release: Beardy’s signs on to Community Development Initiative

For Immediate Release

January 7, 2016

Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation signs on to Community Development Initiative

Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation, Treaty 6 – “In signing Band Council Resolution #2015-2016-028 on November 10, 2015, we became the 6th First Nation in Saskatchewan to join the Community Development Initiative – a pilot project through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada – Saskatchewan Region” explains Kevin Seesequasis, Councillor in charge of Community Development for the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation. “Community members will quite literally shape the future of our Nation and further set us on the course toward self-government – I strongly encourage you all to participate. This will be your plan, your vision!

The Community Development Initiative (CDI) is a partnership between Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and Urban Systems in the development of a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP). The guiding principles of the CDI are:

  1. Every First Nation is different and has unique goals, strengths, and capacity needs;
  2. The people themselves can improve their community by working together, building consensus on priorities and actions, building on community assets, and developing individual and community capacity; and
  3. Tracking the progress of key indicators will provide individuals with decision making authority with the ability to make informed, objective decisions.

The 4 phases of the pilot project are a) Take Stock (introduce project, site visit and meetings, collect data, community assessment, capacity diagram); b) Engage Community (focus groups, Council, urban centres, community surveys, open houses etc); c) Develop a Strategy (community sustainability plan, capacity diagram, community celebration, launch online dashboard); d) Implementation (access to capacity development funding, fewer proposal and reporting requirements, share progress with community, decision making based on empirical data, self-assessment updated guide).

We’re already in the process of hiring a Community Development Officer, we’ve signed the contract with Urban Systems, we’ve participated in a Navigator Workshop and are hosting another in February, and will begin the Community Engagement phase shortly thereafter. These are the first steps in the development of the Comprehensive Community Plan – our strategy for an integrated approach to support a healthy, sustainable nation.” concluded Councillor Seesequasis.

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For more information on the Community Development Initiative, contact:

Councillor Kevin Seesequasis