The Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) is the Gabriel Dumont Institute's oldest program. Created in 1980 to address the chronic shortage of Aboriginal teachers in the province's education system, particularly in larger urban centres, SUNTEP has graduated approximately 700 students with BEd degrees. By employing cross-cultural educational techniques, SUNTEP excels at producing teachers who can integrate theory and practice. SUNTEP is located in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina, and receives its accreditation through the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina. Each SUNTEP centre is unique and provides its students with a quality education, focusing on different cultural aspects. SUNTEP Prince Albert specializes in drama and has its own theatre troupe; Saskatoon emphasizes Métis history; and Regina excels at traditional Métis dancing. The Prince Albert centre, due to a large First Nations enrollment, weaves Métis and First Nations culture into its programming. Other Aboriginal educational institutions in Canada have emulated SUNTEP's successful example of personal empowerment. SUNTEP remains, however, the only Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (TEP) with a specifically Métis focus. Many of its graduates have become employed in a variety of fields other than teaching, including administration, consulting, curriculum development and Métis governance.
Darren R. Préfontaine