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Message from the Director

Dear Partners in Rural Education:

As Director of the National Congress of Rural Education in Canada, it is my pleasure to invite you to attend the 28th annual National Rural Congress to be held on March 26th, 2023 at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. The University of Saskatchewan is situated on beautiful Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The idea of a National Congress on Rural Education in Canada conference was developed almost three decades ago to assist educational partners (trustees, educators, parents/caregivers, students, academics, Ministries of Education, and community organizations) in meeting the unique challenges found in rural, remote and northern areas of Canada.  Each year the Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan hosts the conference supported by the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit (SELU).  Local, provincial, and international presenters have made this a premier event.  Delegates represent a wide variety of educational stakeholders from provincial school divisions, First Nations education authorities, and post-secondary institutions.

The theme of this year’s Congress is, Teaching, Leading and Learning:  Lessons from the Field. The presentations of educational partners and researchers at our Congress will take stock of current realities facing the education sector and focus on the ways in which educational partners have re-considered, re-envisioned- and re-aligned practice, policy and research as they teach, lead and learn in new and exciting ways. Our symposia is intended to engender exciting discussions between educators, school and system leaders, parents, community members, and researchers committed to rural, remote and northern schools and communities.

The Congress has been intentionally created as a hybrid event to accommodate participants wherever they may reside or work.  Those who choose to attend personally will enjoy lunch and refreshments around which they can extend conversations with other delegates.

I hope to be able to welcome you to our event and spend time with you engaging in great conversation and advocacy for rural education in Canada. 

Take care,
Dr. Dawn C. Wallin
Director, National Congress on Rural Education in Canada

Symposium Sessions

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.




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:


Location and Parking

Parking Information

For those registrants who will be attending the Congress Opening on Sunday March 26, free parking will be available in lot F (staff lot).

Maps - College of Education

Congress Scholarship

Alexander Gavu

Dr. Murray Scharf Award for the National Congress on Rural Education in Canada 2023

The Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit is pleased to announce that Alexander Gavu has been awarded the Dr. Murray Scharf Award for the National Congress on Rural Education in Canada 2023.  Alexander's contributions in planning this year’s event is greatly appreciated.  Congratulations, Alexander!

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


20 Year Celebration Video

Contact Us


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