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Learn about Northlands College’s commitment to supporting Indigenous learners and communities through culturally relevant programs and services.

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Northlands College continues its commitment to understanding the historical, social, and economical conditions of Indigenous populations in Saskatchewan, that fosters respect of the cultures, traditions, languages, and protocols of Indigenous people into the work and learning environment of Northlands College. Indigenous Education will strengthen our college by contributing to improving the lives of learners and communities.

Our hope for the Elie Fleury and Louise Pederson Cultural Centres is to become vibrant hubs of our college communities through cultural gatherings, teachings and other outside events that we deem appropriate.

Northlands College emphasizes the importance of community engagement, unique blended educational opportunities and experiences to enhance cultural pride, support and partnerships to ensure success. It is not just about the “building” but rather about relationships and giving people the ability to sustain their goals and aspirations while attaining a balance with their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, as per the four directions of the medicine wheel. We strive for the end result of becoming a successful college community which in turn promotes success in northern Saskatchewan.

The following is a list of topics, events and activities that can be carried out in the Cultural Centres are:

• Knowledge of Aboriginal world views
• Sharing circles
• Traditional medicines
• Traditional foods
• Traditional travel (pre-European)
• Importance of the four teachings
• Survival tips in the forests.
• Making moccasins, mukluks, slippers, mitts etc.
• Trapping, fishing, snaring and hunting
• Tracks and habitat of animals
• Traditional ceremonies and their meaning (Cree, Dene, Metis)
• History of Indigenous cultures
• The medicine wheel (variations to different teachings and cultures)

Elders Advisory Council

Northlands College is proud of the role our Elders Advisory Council plays at our institution. We warmly welcome Ann Lafleur from Beauval, Thompson McKenzie from Grandmother’s Bay, William Morin from Pelican Narrows, Henry Charles from Montreal Lake, and Freddie Throassie from Black Lake to this newly established council.

The primary purpose of the Elders Advisory Council is to provide invaluable guidance and share their extensive knowledge in the areas of language and culture. Their wisdom, experience, and deep-rooted connection to the community will play a vital role in shaping our institution’s strategic direction. The council will work closely with our esteemed Board of Directors and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, ensuring that our college’s Vision, Mission, and Outcomes are aligned with the aspirations and needs of our Indigenous Learners and communities.

The Elders Advisory Council serves as a bridge between our institution and the rich cultural heritage of the Indigenous peoples in northern Saskatchewan. Their insights and perspectives will inform and enrich our educational programs, policies, and practices, ensuring that they are respectful, inclusive, and relevant to the Indigenous communities we serve. By honoring and integrating Indigenous knowledge, traditions, and languages into our curriculum and campus life, we aim to create an environment where all learners feel empowered, respected, and valued

Northlands College expresses deep gratitude to the Elders Advisory Council for their willingness to share their wisdom and support our institution’s mission. Together, we will continue our journey towards reconciliation, fostering understanding, and nurturing a culturally diverse and inclusive college community.

Elder In Residence


Elie Fleury, who is of Métis heritage, received his education at the University of Manitoba and commenced his teaching career in the same province in 1960. He worked as an educator in various northern communities before assuming the role of superintendent of education for the Northern School Board (Northern Lights School Division), headquartered in Prince Albert, in 1976. His career has also included leadership in higher education with his service as Director of the Northern Teacher Education Program.

His extensive experience and connection to culture and communities is an asset to Northlands College Learners, Faculty and Staff.


The Elie Fleury Cultural Centre opened on February 21, 2020; the centre is a place where current, potential learners and staff can go to unwind and have a quiet comfortable place to do some self-reflection. It is a place to get away from the stressors and circumstances that people may be facing at the time. The Centre highlights different traditional and cultural artifacts and pictures representing the Metis, First Nations and Dene People. The Centre has a room designated for smudging and prayer and is always available for learners and staff. Our Resident Elder, Elie Fleury, is available to help with ceremonial and traditional events and teachings.


Continuing our commitment to foster Indigneous culture and practices, our second cultural centre was established in Buffalo Narrows on May 20, 2022. The Louise Pederson Cultural Centre is located in the Northlands College Learner Residence building providing a comfortable and homelike feeling. Our Buffalo Narrows resident Elder Louise Pederson is well-known and respected in North-Western Saskatchewan for her extensive work in education, as a community knowledge keeper, and an adversary with the University of Saskatchewan.


Northlands College Elders Advisory Council is made up of four members from across Northern Saskatchewan and will provide their guidance and knowledge to our organization in the areas of language and culture.

John Henry Charles

John grew up in Montreal Lake, SK, living on the land and waters. Today, he enjoys hunting as a hobby and passing down this knowledge to his grandchildren. John’s journey with Northlands College comes full-circle, beginning as a learner, returning as a Literacy Instructor, and now joining us as an advisory member. Accompanying John, is his wealth of knowledge and compassion, as he has obtained his Bachelor of Indian Social Work (BISW) and works as a Registered Social Worker and an approved Mental Health Therapist.

Freddie Throassie

Freddie is of Dene ancestry and grew up living on the land and practicing traditional ways in Stony Rapids, SK. Freddie has years of experience in the exploration and mining industry previously working in the field and now working in remediation of old mine sites with the Saskatchewan Research Council. Freddie has worn many hats and has gained wisdom is areas such as teaching, leadership, and aviation.

Thompson Mckenzie

Thompson is a proud member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, residing in the community of Grandmother’s Bay. Thompson considers himself a life long learner and sees serving on the council as an opportunity to share his experiences with others. He has worked and lived in Northern Saskatchewan all his life and taken a significant number of leadership and management roles. Education, training, and culture have always played a vital role in his experiences. 

Ann Lafleur

Ann is considered an excellent spiritual advisor for her community of Beauval, SK. She continues to be a strong Elder presence and spiritual guide for a number of events including weddings, funerals, and blessings. Ann was one of few selected to attend a delegation of spiritual advisors at the Vatican City, where Pope Francis issued an apology regarding Canadian Residential Schools. Ann brings an abundance of knowledge from the Metis and Cree cultures from the North West communities.