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Blood Chronology of Education

Taken from Nitsitapi "The Real People"
A look at the Bloods


1890- 1914
Blood students attended two church schools. 1. The Calgary Industrial School for Anglicans and 2. The Dunbow Catholic Mission School. These schools were for all Indians in Alberta and some from Saskatchewan. Dunbow was east of Calgary. Blood students left reservation and did not return until they left these institutions. Both were residences.

Catholic students began attending old Standoff Mission on reserve, mission built in 1898. Anglican students began attending Old Agency Anglican School on the reservation. Both were residences.

St. Paul's Anglican School was built and reserve land was allocated to this church for educational purposes. Buildings were given to church from Federal Government. (Residence.)

St. Mary's Roman Catholic School was built. Areas of land close to the school were set aside for the school's farming operations so that this institution would be self supporting. (Same arrangement as Anglican School.) Also a residence.

School Musical Band from St. Mary's R.C. School performed in town of Fort Macleod for Silver Jubilee and won I st Prize.

Policy of Dept. of Indian Affairs that no Indian could receive better than a grade 8 education. Also 16 years was the school leaving age. Federal schools on reserve followed the Alberta curriculum standards.

Inspector Evanson from Ottawa sent to St. Mary's and St. Paul's schools to inspect operations. First time grade IO at St. Paul's.

First person to go beyond grade 8 education on Blood Reserve - Flora Shade.

School Gym opens for St. Mary's.

Federal government lifted their practice of laissez-faire towards the Indian and this was replaced by strong federal presence.

New Standoff Day School (Elementary School). New program, Old Army Barracks for buildings. Students encouraged to attend day school - residence discouraged. Move on part of federal government to decentralize education.

Girl's Gym completed - St. Mary's. First P.T.A. meeting. First yearbook attempt. First television at St. Mary's on reserve. Total number of students still in residence was 284, Whole school quarantined against spinal meningitis.

St. Mary's had Ist School rodeo. Busing from home to schools began, where some Indians ran buses for Enerson's of Lethbridge. First Indian Teacher on staff, Mrs. Lena Russell. Video introduced to school at St. Mary's. Chief Shot Both Sides I st, died.

New policy of integration being talked about by leaders and Indian Affairs.

First time for grade nine at St. Mary's school. Also first vear for grade nine departmentals for St. Mary's.

First year of High School - grade IO (only) at St. Mary's.

St. Mary's New School Block for High School completed. Total number of students at St. Mary'sboth day-school students and residential equals 300. First time for a grade I I class at St. Mary's plus automotives, woodwork, metal work, Home Ec. added to curricula.

First year for grade 12 at St. Mary's. High school is fully offered.

Dept. of Indian Affairs initiated a policy of cutting back on spending for Indian Education.

Strong move on part of federal government to integrate Indian students in provincial schools.

One-half of all Blood students were in provincial schools. Attempts by Dept. of Indian Affairs to place Indian Education under the province (in our case - Alberta).

First school Committee formed - Band Council members appointed only.

First time number of Blood students attending provincial schools outnumber those Blood students attending federal schools (St. Mary's and St. Paul's). Foster home program not working where Blood students attending provincial schools live-in with white families. Parents upset and complaining.

St. Paul's Anglican School (Residential) closed. Most Anglican students going to provincial schools.

St. Mary's School almost closed.

Adult night classes begin at Levern Day School, for first time. Vice-principal at St. Mary's burned and destroyed all files and records relevant to Indian education. Move to Levern and Standoff non-denominational schools.

Standoff Elementary School (new building) complete. Adult night classes begin to be offered in Levern Day School with cultural teaching by elders.

Kainai Bus Co-op formed. Blood Tribe Kainai community services meeting with Dept. of Indian Affairs. Working towards a centralized Adult Education Center at vacant St. Paul's building. Ninastako Adult Education Center established at St. Paul's. Leo Fox - coordinator.

Standoff Kindergarten building opens door to all kindergarten children from Blood Reserve.

Native American Studies finalized by provincial government, Dept. of Indian Affairs, the University of Lethbridge and the Native people themselves; foundations also involved.

U of L held off campus courses at St. Mary's School. Agriculture training talked about for St. Mary's School. Marvin Fox hired to coordinate Education on Blood Reserve.

Green Certificate Program starts up at St. Mary's in field of Agriculture. Three Social Counsellors hired by the Band to counsel students from reserve. First Indian Education counsellor - Mrs. Helen Many Fingers.

Number of students at university and college graduates from Blood Reserve are 16 or more registered in 1976 Indian Graduate Register. Dept. of Indian Affairs posing proposal that "treaty Indian students in post-secondary institutions need not pay or contribute towards their education but the amount allocated for post-secondary education for Blood Reserve would remain the same. " This year total number of full time post-secondary students in colleges and university are 140. Blackfoot Language Program started, Leo Fox for Blood Reserve. Total number of Blood students - 2000 (actual 1964). Total number of Blood people - 5143 (population).

Life skills program starts for adults in Standoff.

Doreen Rabbit appointed Principal at Levern. First Indian Principal on Blood Reserve.

Provisional School Board set up by Band Council. Gordon Many Fingers, Winston Day Chief, Virginia Many Fingers, Jordan Bruised Head, Hazel Eli, and Philip Mistaken Chief.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup