Darren Pietrobono, Lenora Rabbit Carrier, Linda Andres, David Steele, Rhian Schroeder, Vince Hill (Standing left to right)
Hector Winnipeg, Vic Budz (Sitting left to right)
September 29, 2014
Anytime partnerships can be established, individuals and communities benefit. Bassano School is no exception to this principle. For 46 years now, Siksika First Nation students have been attending Bassano School with First Nation graduation rates increasing each year. Siksika students, who attend Bassano School demonstrate tremendous commitment to their education. Many of them spend up to two hours on the school bus each day. According to Tristan Weasel Head, Grade 12 student, “Coming to Bassano School has been a great experience and given me more opportunities and choices for my career path.”
Experiences like Tristan’s have been made possible because of the new three year partnership agreement that Grasslands Public Schools and Siksika First Nation negotiated this year. This agreement involves 73 students attending from Siksika from Grade 1 – 12. A First Nations person is employed as a Community Liaison worker to enhance communication with parents and students. In the new agreement this position will be a Grasslands position.
Siksika spokesperson, Lenora Rabbit Carrier, Assistant Superintendent said “The partnership with Grasslands has been very positive, which is due to the collaborative efforts from both parties. We are proud of the commendable achievements of our students and the increasing graduation rates. The diverse programs offered, academic support and cultural infusion have given our students the tools to seek their academic goals and dreams”, and Grasslands Superintendent David Steele added “We are very proud of the programs in Bassano and the achievements of our Siksika students.
Vince Hill, Principal, who has been working with First Nation students for the past 25 years and just moved to Bassano, is thrilled to be working in a school which celebrates diversity and embraces all cultures. “I count it a privilege to be given this opportunity to support our First Nation students in a partnership such as this,” says Mr. Hill. “We have great students coming from Siksika, who want to be here, and want to learn.”