The St. Clair Catholic District School Board and officials of the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation (CKSPFN) have signed an historic agreement, which formalizes tuition services for secondary school students attending St. Patrick's Catholic High School in Sarnia.
A formal signing agreement was held yesterday at Hillside School. The ceremony began with an opening prayer by Barry Milliken, a Community Elder and Member of the Education Committee. Greetings were expressed by Chief Thomas Bressette, Director of Education Dan Parr, Education Committee Council Member Marshall George and Rob Cicchelli, Principal, St. Patrick's Catholic High School.
"I want to offer a very special welcome - 'ahnii' - to our students who come to St. Patrick's Catholic High School from the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation," says Dan Parr, Director of Education. "Through this important new partnership, we pledge to provide for them the very best that Catholic education has to offer."
Kettle and Stony Point First Nation Chief Thomas Bressette expressed his pleasure at being able to help students who wish to attend St. Patrick's Catholic High School. "This is an important and supportive collaboration that will provide our students access to their educational curriculum of choice," says Chief Bressette.
Following the formal signing of documents, an Honour Song was played on the piano by Evan Jackson, a member of the CKSPFN and student at St. Patrick's Catholic High School.
The tuition service agreement is the result of mutual trust and respect, which has developed into a strong partnership. The agreement is the first to be entered into by the CKSPFN and St. Clair Catholic, and formalizes a framework for the supports and services provided by both the Board and the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. It also sets out reporting requirements for tuition fees collected by the Board.
Tuition service agreements are being developed between school boards and First Nation governments across the province, under the guidance and direction of Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Education.
In the photo above left are (L-R) Chief Thomas Bressette, Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation and Dan Parr, Director of Education, St. Clair Catholic District School Board; and above right, St. Patrick's student Evan Jackson performs an Honour Song on the piano.