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Tax exemption blamed for hiring problems.


Cree speaking teachers are rare birds in small urban schools. The Lloydminster public and Catholic school divisions have hit real roadblocks trying to recruit professional Cree-speaking staff.

Located near more than a dozen reserves, many Lloydminster schools boast a 20- to 30-per cent Native student population, with numbers on the rise.

"There are genuine problems associated with attracting qualified, fully bilingual, Cree-speaking teachers to a small urban center like Lloydminster, said Dr Donald Duncan Donald F. Duncan, Sr. (June 6, 1892 - May 15, 1971) was an American entrepreneur and inventor and founder of the Duncan Toys Company.

Donald Duncan is most commonly associated with Yo-yos; the commercial success they enjoyed during the 20th century in the United States, and
, director of education, Lloydminster public school division. "Many teachers who take their training in a larger urban centre like Edmonton or Saskatoon Saskatoon (săskətn`), city (1991 pop. 186,058), S central Sask., Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River.  want to stay in that environment and take advantage of the big city lifestyle. Others want to go home and work on their reserve, with the obvious advantage of living within their own cultural, family and community lifestyle."

There are currently four female staff members working at the Jack Kemp The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed.
Please see the relevant discussion on the .
 elementary public school, located on the Saskatchewan side of the bordertown, two teachers, an aid and Aboriginal liaison officer, that are fluent fluent /flu·ent/ (floo´int) flowing effortlessly; said of speech.  Cree speakers. In addition, there are a number of staff members of Metis Metis (mē`tĭs), in astronomy, one of the 39 known moons, or natural satellites, of Jupiter.


goddess of caution and discretion. [Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 242]

See : Prudence
 descent in the elementary, junior, LEAP and high school programs.

"One of the criteria for hiring Native teachers and our Aboriginal liaison was full fluency in Cree," said Duncan. "It is extremely important that our Native laison officer, Mary Brock brock  
n. Chiefly British
A badger.

[Middle English brok, from Old English broc, of Celtic origin.]
, is fluent in Cree and English, quite frankly, to facilitate communication between home and school among Aboriginal families. We would be delighted to receive more applications from Native people with that ability. We need more positive role models, qualified teachers who would surprise those with stereotypical views of Aboriginal people," said Duncan.

The Lloydminster Catholic school division has not had the good fortune to engage the services of any Cree speaking staff members in the 2000/2001 school year.

The issue of `off reserve income tax' has made recruitment very difficult for the Catholic school division, explained director of education, Vince Mokelky. "We have an excellent Native co-ordinator, Mel Gervais, a Saskatchewan Metis, working within the high school who does not speak Cree, but we were lucky to get him. We practically had to beg, borrow, steal and cajole (language) CAJOLE - (Chris And John's Own LanguagE) A dataflow language developed by Chris Hankin <> and John Sharp at Westfield College.

["The Data Flow Programming Language CAJOLE: An Informal Introduction", C.L.
 to get him here. It wasn't easy for him to turn down a good teaching position in Prince Albert Prince Albert, city (1991 pop. 34,181), central Sask., Canada, on the North Saskatchewan River. Prince Albert is a commercial and distribution center for a lumbering, gold- and uranium-mining, and mixed-farming area. There are wood-products and meatpacking industries. , Sask., which has a large Native population and cultural base," said Mokelky.

Trying to find Native teaching staff that fit the template of Cree speaking, Catholic, with a grounding in Native spirituality, with full professional teachers' qualifications in place, has been next to impossible for the division.

"When we tried to staff our Cree language Cree is the name for a group of closely-related Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 50,000 speakers across Canada, from Alberta to Labrador. Dialect criteria
The Cree dialect continuum can be divided by many criteria.
 program with qualified teachers, we had a difficult time trying to find qualified teachers with a B.Ed. When we advertised provincially, it did not yield anyone interested in the position. We networked with bands and universities to find interested people.

"It was not only a supply and demand problem. It was also an economic one. It didn't take candidates long to realize that if they taught in a small town public school, they were off-reserve and would have to pay income tax. If they take a position in a band school, they didn't have to pay income tax, so it becomes a very competitive environment trying to recruit Aboriginal teachers with the skill set for Cree language instruction," said Doug Robertson, superintendent, Catholic school division.

"We have a provincial grid that states very clearly what a new teacher should make, and increments of 10 steps in the grid In the Grid is a game show that airs on UK broadcaster Five at 6.30pm week nights. It first aired on Monday 30 October 2006.

In the Grid is hosted by Les Dennis and is produced by Initial West, one of the Endemol UK companies.
 of what each teacher should be paid. We don't have a whole lot of latitude latitude, angular distance of any point on the surface of the earth north or south of the equator. The equator is latitude 0°, and the North Pole and South Pole are latitudes 90°N and 90°S, respectively.  to make compensation for an Aboriginal teacher," said Robertson.

Additional challenges facing small urban centres is that Native teachers often have a keen desire to return to band controlled schools.

"In the faith component, we have attempted to complement our Catholic faith teachings with Native spiritually. Our Grade 12 class participates in a feather ceremony that honors the achievements of our Aboriginal students. With the help of Elders, they participate in sweatlodges. We hope to have our administrative staff participate in a sweat, to develop more empathy empathy

Ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The empathic actor or singer is one who genuinely feels the part he or she is performing.
 between Catholic and Native spirituality and help celebrate both," said Robertson.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Sexsmith, Pamela
Publication:Wind Speaker
Date:Feb 1, 2001
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