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Wasacase, Ida (1937–93)

Ida Wasacase.
University of Regina Archives and Special Collections 85-18-6

Ida Wasacase was an activist, renowned lecturer, and advocate of First Nations bilingual and bicultural education, who played a key role in establishing a working relationship between the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, the University of Regina, and both federal and provincial governments. Ida Wasacase was born on November 27, 1937, on the Ochapowace First Nation reserve. She graduated from the Round Lake Residential School in 1954 with a Governor General’s Award in French, and a year later received her “Permanent Teachers Certificate A” from Tuxedo Teachers’ College in Manitoba. She gained over fifteen years of teaching experience across Canada in primary and secondary schools, and three years in Germany with the Department of National Defence. She then taught at the universities of Brandon, Laurentian, and Saskatchewan. Wasacase worked as a consultant in the areas of language and cross-cultural development for the Manitoba Department of Education, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, and the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College. She was appointed Associate Director of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College in 1976. She was promoted to Director of the College one year later, and remained in that position until 1982, in which year she received the Order of Canada. Ida Wasacase died on May 13, 1993, and despite her short life is remembered as a key figure in Indian control of Indian education in Saskatchewan.

Rob Nestor

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