The Beginnings of a Vibrant College
The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) was created in response to the need for quality post-secondary education for First Nations people in an environment that promotes traditional ways and fosters student success.
- Governed by Saskatchewan’s First Nations
- A technical institute that operates within the Saskatchewan provincial post-secondary system,
- One of the initial First Nation-controlled post-secondary institutes in Canada and,
- A continued contributor to community and student growth.
In the beginning:
- SIIT was first established in 1976 as the Saskatchewan Indian Community College (SICC),
- SIIT originally delivered adult academic upgrading,
- Programming then branched into accounting and community health programs that were delivered to First Nations adults throughout the province.
Growth and Success
In 1982, SICC welcomed its first President.
Increases in funding, training needs assessment and satellite colleges are established changing SIIT programming priorities to establish on-going, fully certified occupational courses and programs.
In 1985, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Act is passed by the FSIN allowing for stable operational funding and increased programming.
Through determination and community collaboration the following years contributed to the growth of SIIT by establishing campuses and trade centres throughout Saskatchewan to meet the needs of communities and First Nations students.
On July 1, 2000, the Province of Saskatchewan recognized SIIT as a post-secondary institution by way of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Act.
This new legislation recognized SIIT as an accredited granting institution giving SIIT students the ability to transfer credits to other post-secondary institutions and to have their certificates and diplomas recognized at the provincial level by both First Nation and non-First Nation employers.
Partnerships with Saskatchewan Polytechnic, University of Saskatchewan and other regional colleges have continued the expansion of SIIT.
Major donations and sponsorship from Nutrien, Boeing, Sasktel, Western Economic Diversification, SIGA and others have contributed to student growth through a Student Success Centre, scholarships and industry opportunities.
Today’s Thriving Environment
- Today through continued dedication and determination, SIIT remains a vibrant college with three campuses, eight career campuses and numerous community sites located across Saskatchewan.
- Enhanced technology initiatives have allowed for increased access into communities and across Canada while still remaining true to SIIT’s foundational values of student success, community, and lifelong learning.
- Growth has come from all facets but the commitment and vision of SIIT and its supporting communities remains the same.
Exploring knowledge from an Aboriginal perspective gives our people the education, confidence and control that we need to enhance our communities and younger generations.
Notable and Contributing Events
- 1976 (Feb 20): Order-In-Council establishes the Saskatchewan Indian Community College (SICC) under the Community Colleges Act of Saskatchewan effective March 1, 1976.
- 1976 – 1979: First Principal of SICC Clane Anthony Sparvier
- 1979 – 1982: Principal of SICC: Oliver Cameron
- MOU between Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Saskatchewan Indian Community College is signed.
- 1982 – 1984: 1st President Raymond Ahenakew
- Training needs assessment is established with federal and provincial governments
- 1984 – 1987: 2nd President Daniel Bellegarde
- In 1985: Operational name changes to The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies after FSIN passes The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Act
- 1987 – 1994: 3rd President, Ronald L. Albert
- 1987: SIIT establishes a satellite college in North Battleford
- 1987: Certification in various SIIT programs is offered through SIAST campuses
- 1987: The Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group (SITAG) is established.
- 1987: The Saskatchewan Indian Enterprise Development (SIED) Centre of SIIT is established.
- 1989: The Touchwood File Hills and Qu’Appelle District Chiefs officially inaugurated the Indian Business Management Program in Fort Qu’Appelle
- Relocation of the head office to the Asimakaniseekan Askiy Reserve in Saskatoon
- 1995 – 2005: 4th President, Joan Greyeyes
- 1996: SIIT and SaskTel sign partnership agreement to establish the SIIT Call Centre, the first Aboriginal Call Centre in Canada
- 1999: SIIT and the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission create the Joint Training Committee.
- 2000 (July 1): The Province of Saskatchewan recognizes SIIT as a fully accredited post-secondary institute by way of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Act.
- 2002: SIIT signs an MOU with Southern Alberta Institute Technologies
- 2005 – 2007: 5th Acting President, Ray Ahenakew
- 2008 – 2012: 6th President, Randell Morris
- 2009 (June 23): In partnership with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, SIIT launches its Mobile Career Coaches
- 2010: SIIT announces the launch of its Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) program.
- 2013: SIIT opens its PotashCorp Student Success Centre, now Nutrien Student Success Centre
- 2013 – present: 7th President Riel Bellegarde
- 2014: SIIT signs a partnership with Edwards School of Business – University of Saskatchewan
- 2014: SIIT announces SIGA’s Scholarships
- 2015: SIIT’s upgrade to technology expands to all campus and career centre locations (network, desktops, wifi access, online applications, responsive website for mobility, social media)
“SIIT is very empowering, it helped me build up my confidence and overcome my shyness. The business program opens doors and the staff is full of awesome people.”
Gabrielle Abraham, Business student, is from Waterhen Lake First Nation.