BLOOD RESERVE, AB--(Marketwired - January 21, 2014) - Today, the Kainai Board of Education, Kainai High School and Blood Tribe announced a new partnership with the Martin Aboriginal Educational Initiative (MAEI) and Scotiabank to launch the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) at Kainai High School. Supported by Scotiabank, AYEP works to encourage Grade 11 and 12 students to stay in school and go on to postsecondary education.
"Our children's education must be shared and designed by all members of our community. It is an investment that has no limit in the advancement of our future leaders," said Chief Charles Weasel Head, Blood Reserve. "I wish to thank the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative and Scotiabank for extending their support and expertise to the Kainai Board of Education and towards the ongoing academic development of our young learners. Successful education outcome is a shared responsibility."
Under AYEP, teachers use innovative, hands-on learning techniques to help Aboriginal students develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, business and life, while respecting their cultural heritage.
"It is extremely rewarding and exciting to have our students' and their teachers' work honored and acknowledged," said Kainai High School principal, Annette Bruised Head. "I know that our students are capable of so much and that with every investment they will rise to the challenges and become successful, independent, and respectful citizens in our community and in the country. Thank you to our sponsors, MAEI and Scotiabank, for believing in Kainai High School."
Kainai High School invited Blood Tribe Chief Charles Weasel Head, Scotiabank President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Porter, and Canada's 21st Prime Minister and MAEI Founder, The Right Honorable Paul Martin, along with local community leaders and education officials, to announce the launch of AYEP at the school on Blood Reserve, Alberta.
"Scotiabank is proud to partner with the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, Blood Tribe, and Kainai High School to launch the on-reserve Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program," said Mr. Porter. "Education is critical for economic growth and progress, and with Canada's young and growing Aboriginal population, investing in education for Aboriginal students is good for the community and is also critical for our country's success."
"We are pleased that Kainai High School has introduced the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program into its curriculum," said Mr. Martin. "Aboriginal youth are the fastest-growing segment of the population and will be key drivers of the Canadian economy. Together, with Kainai High School's dynamic leadership, AYEP will help ensure that the students at Kainai High School have the skills and experience they need to fully participate in our growing economy, to enjoy greater economic self-reliance and a better quality of life."
At the program launch, students had the opportunity to meet Mr. Porter and Mr. Martin, who took part in a school assembly and a luncheon roundtable with community members, Aboriginal leaders, students, funders and education leaders.
About Kainai High School
Kainai High School (KHS) formerly known as St. Mary's School is on the Kainai/Blood Reserve and serves grade 9-12 students. KHS came into being in 1988 under the newly local controlled First Nation School district of Blood Tribe. It is located in the 'Bull Horn' area of the reserve, nestled between the Tatsikisaapo'pa (Middle Plume) Middle School, a KHS feeder school, and the Red Crow Community College. KHS saw an increase in enrolment, for the first time in 5 years, from approximately 160 students to 190 students in 2013-2014. The school is on a quarterly semester system, which means that students take two courses for ten weeks, for a total of eight courses in a school year. Kainai High School has also implemented mandatory courses which underline the value of their Blackfoot Culture.
About the Blood Tribe
The Blood Tribe has a population of over ten-thousand occupying approximately 549.7 square miles with a Timber Limit in the Rocky Mountains of approximately 7.5 square miles. Three rivers, the Old Man, St. Mary and Belly, border the Blood reserve. The traditional Blackfoot territory extends from the Rocky Mountains to the West; the Sand Hills to the East; to the North Saskatchewan in the North, and the Yellowstone in the South. The Blood Tribe Administration situated in Stand Off is the administrative centre of the Blood Tribe.
About The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative
The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI) was established in 2008 in order to build and facilitate lasting solutions to improve elementary and secondary school education outcomes for Aboriginal Canadians. MAEI brings together Aboriginal organizations, the business community, post-secondary institutions, First Nation schools and provincially and territorially funded school boards to implement programs to support Aboriginal students. MAEI believes that the development of knowledge and skills will provide Aboriginal youth with an incentive to continue their education. Projects are chosen in consultation with the pertinent Aboriginal leadership, provincial and territorial education authorities, and local business communities.
Scotiabank is a leading financial services provider in over 55 countries and Canada's most international bank. Through our team of more than 83,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates offer a broad range of products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, corporate and investment banking to over 21 million customers. With assets of $744 billion (as at October 31, 2013), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). Scotiabank distributes the Bank's media releases using Marketwired. For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.