During the summer of 2010, Samson Cree Nation’s Nipisihkopahk Education Authority (NEA) conducted a survey of students who were not registered for school and found that their needs were not being met by a traditional school setting. These included but not limited to the following major categories:
- Teen mothers who did not have any daycare services or they could not leave their infant child for a full school day.
- Students who had been dropouts for a longer than a year.
- Students who were in the criminal justice system.
- Students who were expelled for violent behaviour and or drug infractions.
- Students who require individual attention and are unable to cope in a large class setting.
- Students who are in care.
- Students who are live on their own.
In 2010, NEA launched the Maskwacis Outreach School as a program under Nipisihkopahk Secondary School (NSS). The program had great success and as enrolment increased, there became a need for a new facility for the program. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada committed $500,000 in funding to convert an existing building, the Ermineskin Mall, into a school. The official grand opening for the Maskwacis Outreach School at the Ermineskin Cree Nation was held Oct. 5 (Read More).
The human resources component is led by NEA. Miyo Whakohtowin (MWE) controls the Operation and Maintenance side. Samson, Ermineskin, Montana and Louis Bull Education departments are involved in the Maskwacis Education Steering Committee (MESC) and oversee the Governance and Policy.