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City & SIIT announce new strategic education partnership

For immediate release: March 23, 2018 - 10:00am

The City of Saskatoon and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create greater education, career development and training opportunities for Indigenous students and workers.

“SIIT is pleased to strengthen our relationship with the City of Saskatoon through the signing of this MOU,” says Chief Darcy Bear, SIIT Board of Governors Chairperson. “SIIT serves approximately 10,000 students and clients per year across the province,” Chief Bear says. “Partnerships, such as this one, help provide a better conduit for our students to find employment opportunities within all areas of the city’s workforce”.  

The formal agreement outlines a framework for collaboration between the two organizations, including strategic initiatives to improve the quality of life for SIIT students while living in Saskatoon.

“Strengthening our partnership with SIIT will not only help the City of Saskatoon have a more representative workforce, but it will create valuable learning opportunities for SIIT students, many who move to Saskatoon for their program and stay here after they graduate,” says Mayor Charlie Clark.

“In working more closely with this academic institution we can ensure that the programming and courses of SIIT fit well with the needs and issues facing the city,” Mayor Clark says. “This will support students in a way that advances the needs and aspirations of everyone.”

Key initiatives include:

  • Develop targeted strategies to recruit students to enter into and succeed in employment.
  • Engage students to identify and address barriers to employment, such as transportation, child care and housing.

“As the Saskatoon Student Association President, I look forward to any partnerships that help to reduce barriers while students are at SIIT and assist them in securing employment after they complete their education. Pursuing an education can be a stressful experience with many obstacles, any time we reduce obstacles we improve student success,” says Violet Swan, SIIT Saskatoon Student Association President.

In 2014, SIIT and the City of Saskatoon signed an ongoing agreement that provides full time students with a Transit U-pass at a discounted rate, for the September to May academic year.

The MOU responds directly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, specifically #92: “Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.”

Under the City of Saskatoon’s Strategic Goal of Continuous Improvement, this agreement supports the long term strategy of offering an inclusive workplace that embraces diverse backgrounds. This agreement also supports the City’s long-term strategy of strengthening relations with local Aboriginal organizations, under the Strategic Goal of Quality of Life.