Message from the Organizing Committee

Dear Education Partner,

On behalf of the Department of Educational Administration, the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit, and the Director of the National Congress on Rural Education in Canada, this letter is to inform our education partners, collegues, and friends that the National Congress on Rural Education in Canada Congress is coming to an end.  This was a very difficult decision to make after a rich, long-standing history of serving rural education for the past 28 years.

The organizers of this event have been engaged in detailed discussions on the sustainability of the Congress prior to making this difficult decision.  The Congress has seen a steady decline in attendance and participation over the last ten years as other professional groups have taken over professional development and/or restricted budgets have decreased opportunities for people to engage in multiple events.  Increased overhead for hosting the event have made it impossible to sustain the Congress in its traditional format which supported a shift to a hybrid design held at the College of Education with an international presence.  Although this offered diversity and access, it also decreased the satifaction of our long-standing attendees who have lamented the drift away from its original design and in-person networking.

The Department of Educational Administration, the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit and Director Dr. Dawn Wallin are currently discussing the roll of the Department and SELU in engaging rural educators and sector partners in the future.  Currently, there is intention to ensure that rural education maintains a significant presence in the Saskatchewan Principals' Short Course.  As other options are explored for different stakeholder groups we will communicate those with the sector.

We will maintain and update our National Congress on Rural Education in Canada website for the near future.  This site will remain a place of celebration, history and appreciation for the many years of engagement and participation in this event.

Yours in Education,

Greg McJannet, Associate Director, SELU

Celebration Videos

National Congress on Rural Education in Canada Congress Highlights

20 Year Celebration Video

Symposium Sessions 2023

Dr. Debbie Pushor

Creating Familycentric Schools

In the commitment statements of the draft SK Provincial Education Plan, effective September 2023 for an eight year period, we are being called to, “from a strengths-based approach, create relevant and responsive familycentric models, inclusive of students, staff, parents, families, cultures and communities.” This change will require a significant shift in beliefs and practices about parent and family engagement in our schools. Dr. Debbie Pushor will join us to share familycentric practices currently underway by leaders in SK schools and school divisions and engage in discussion with us as to how we can prepare to lead this critical school transformation.

Dr. Elaina Guilmette

Mental Wellness 30

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (2023) 70% of mental health challenges begin to emerge before the age of 18. Mental Wellness 30 is a unique secondary curriculum designed to empower youth with proactive tools to recognize mental health challenges, increase knowledge of available resources and professional supports, and improve resiliency. Dr. Guilmette will be joined by panelists who have participated in writing and teaching the MW30 curriculum.  In this session, there will be opportunity to engage in discussions as they share their experiences and the positive impacts, they have seen provincially.

Guest Presenters: Alexis Epp, Michelle Lahti and Dr. Anne Sloboda

LEADS (League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents)

Provincial Education Plan Areas of Focus: School Division Actions

A panel of LEADS members will lead a discussion of current topics in regard to the Education Sector Plan and school divisions responses to the plan.

Presenters (from left to right):  Stacy Lair, Director of Education, North East School Division; Ward Strubey, Director/CEO, Holy Trinity Catholic School Division; and Jason Young, Director of Education, Northern Lights School Division.leads-presenters.png

Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation

Discussions from the Field

STF Senior Administrative Staff, Pat Maze, will moderate and host a panel of local association Leaders (panelists).  The moderator will guide the panelist through a series of questions pertaining to "lessons from the field".  The moderator and panelists will engage the audience and there will be opportunities for questions.

Presenters (from left to right):  Neal Boutin, STF Executive; David Rogers, STF Councillor and former President of North East Teachers' Association (NETA); and Peggy Welter, Vice-President and LINC Chair of the Prairie Valley Teachers' Assocation.


Wáhkóhtowin Presentation

Wāhkōhtowin: Decolonizing Teacher Education

This presentation discusses the Wāhkōhtowin teacher preparation model that underlies the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP). The model was created out of an educational partnership that responded to the teachings of Nēhiyaw (Cree) Indigenous Elders designed to decolonize teacher preparation in order to: foster student learning and engagement; develop Nēhiyaw teacher identity and proficiency, and; support reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This presentation will discuss how the model has been implemented in Saskatchewan schools, the changes and challenges faced by partners over time, and the value of establishing teacher education programming that sustains and revitalizes Indigenous culture, language and tradition.

Presenters (left to right): Yvette Arcand, Director, Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP); Lori-Ann Daniels, ITEP Mentor and Instructor; and Dr. Dawn Wallin, Associate Vice-President Research (Engagement) 

Picture of  Yvette Arcand      Picture of  Lori-Ann Daniels      Picture of Dr. Dawn Wallin



Feedback Session

The Rural Congress Director, Dr. Dawn Walllin and Greg McJannet, Associate Director of SELU will lead conference attendees through a feedback session about the National Congress on Rural Education in Canada event and our plans for the future.


Schedule-at-a-Glance 2023

Sponsors 2023

The National Congress on Rural Education in Canada Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank the following sponsors for this year's event:


Planning Committee

National Congress on Rural Education in Canada 2023 Planning Committee
Alenander Gavu Dr. Murray Scharf Rural Congress Scholarship Recipient
Ruth Griffith Saskatchewan Association of School Councils
Duane Hauk Saskatchewan League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents (LEADS)
Holly Mayes Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit (SELU)
Patrick Maze Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF)
Shaun McEchern STF Professional Learning 
Greg McJannet Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit (SELU)
Karen Middleton Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
Pamela Osmond-Johnson University of Regina
Ronna Pethick Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA)
Vicki Squires Associate Dean (Research, Graduate Support and International Initiatives) and Associate Professor, Department of Educational Administration and Director of SELU
Jaime Valentine Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO)
Dawn Wallin Associate Vice-President Research (Engagement); Director, NCREC 2023


Contact Us


28 Campus Drive
College of Education, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK  Canada
S7N 0X1
(306) 966-7634