Student Brison Buffalo and Miyo Wahkohtowin Education trustees Cindy Nicotine, Tamara Wildcat, and Lucinda Minde show off the celebratory cake for the school system’s 25th anniversary Sept. 9. Buffalo and his girlfriend Alavra Fraynn decorated the cake as part of their culinary course at Ermineskin Junior Senior High School.
Miyo Wahkohtowin Education celebrated the quarter century mark in grand fashion, inviting the community to join in with a pancake breakfast, lunchtime barbecue, and cake at Ermineskin Junior Senior High School on Sept. 9.
Miyo Wahkohtowin Education took over the administration of Ermineskin Cree Nation’s education 25 years ago and today operates four schools: Ermineskin Kindergarten, Elementary, Junior Senior High and Ehpewapahk schools.
“When this anniversary came up, the board was really excited and after 25 years of running the schools and doing our best to make it right for our community, we wanted to share the celebration with everybody,” said board trustee Tamara Wildcat.
“I’m really looking forward to the next 25 years and then some.”
After 25 years of local control of education, there are a lot of accomplishments for Miyo Wahkohtowin to be proud of. For current Ermineskin Junior Senior High School Principal Keith MacQuarrie, he says he is most proud of the school’s growing list of graduates.
“This year we’re very fortunate to be having two graduations, one in fall with 11 graduates, and also we will have our first spring graduation in quite a long time,” he said.
“We anticipate over 30 graduates this spring. It’s very exciting.”
Superintendant Brian Wildcat said the anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the last 25 years of change, not only in education, but the community as well.
“The world has changed and Miyo Wahkohtowin with it,” he said.
“We’ve increased our enrollment and we’ve increased our graduation rates. We’ve achieved much student success and we’ve been recognized as one of the best run First Nations school district in the province and country.
“The success we’ve achieved over this time and through many changes is something that requires a lot of people to work together. It requires real wahkohtowin and for the past 25 years, we’ve had that with our staff and our families, parents, and students.”