Indigenous fitness and wellness academy launches at Saskatoon school

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and Saskatoon Tribal Council recently unveiled plans for a First Nations fitness and wellness academy. Dayne Winter / Global News

A new fitness and wellness academy in Saskatoon is geared toward Indigenous students at E.D. Feehan Catholic High School.

Diane Boyko, chair of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ board of education, said the land-based program offers another aspect of classroom instruction more culturally-relevant to Indigenous students.

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“The more that students can see themselves, their culture, their Indigenous identity in their learning, the better chance we have of getting them interested in their learning,” Boyko said in a press release.

“Ideally, that leads to better graduation rates for our Indigenous students.”

The miyo machihowin, which is Cree for healthy living, program in partnership with the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) complements existing Indigenous language and cultural programming at the school.

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“As a result of our people being sent to residential schools, many generations have been affected; we lost our identity, culture and language,” STC Chief Mark Arcand said in a press release.

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The small gym at E.D. Feehan is being renovated to house the program, thanks to an anonymous donation.

Courses such as English language arts and social studies will have an enhanced cultural focus and remain consistent with provincial curriculum.

Students who want to register for the 2018-19 school year can find the application form online.

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