Mother Teresa Middle School program helps Indigenous students succeed with land-based curriculum

A program at Mother Teresa Middle School (MTMS) in Regina is helping its students—70% of whom are Indigenous—connect with their identity using a land-based curriculum and interventionist approach. The school offers a land-based learning curriculum, where students can participate in activities such as picking sweetgrass, learning smudging ceremonies, scraping buffalo hides, and making beaded accessories alongside their standard classes. “These programs cultivate a strong sense of cultural identity and pride,” said MTMS Director of Development Evie Koop Sawatzky. “How powerful it is to see kids singing out in Cree and giving back to their community. It not only encourages other students, but it encourages the Elders that these songs and these stories will continue.” The school provides students with wraparound care and transportation so students can continue to attend the school even if they move.