(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn Ain-chut Atleo today offered condolences to the family, friends and citizens of Sturgeon Lake First Nation (SK) on the passing of Carol Sanderson.
“On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations and the National Executive, I offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of Carol Sanderson,” said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. “We remember and honour the life of a great person that touched so many lives through her determination, dedication and hard work.She was a pioneer in many fields, including the critical areas of First Nation education, governance and treaty rights. Carol Sanderson was one of the first Indigenous citizens to obtain a degree in education and she dedicated much of her life to advancing the fundamental principle of First Nations control of First Nations education, ensuring education could be a tool and vehicle to advance the aspirations of all our people. She will truly be missed, especially by those many young people she helped along the way.”
Carole Sanderson was a visionary, instrumental in the development of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) in the late 1960s and going on to become the FSIN’s first Director of Education. She was later involved in the development of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College at the University of Regina in the 1970s.
Her distinguished career included positions representing the National Indian Education Council, the Assembly of First Nations Constitutional Advisory Committee, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies and National First Nations Education Forum. She was also a classroom teacher, guidance counsellor and education liaison officer.
“Carol Sanderson taught all of us so much in so many areas, always guided by an unwavering understanding of the importance of the inherent rights of First Nations. She was a forceful advocate to the Saskatchewan government and the federal government on the need for culturally appropriate curriculum in First Nation schools as the way forward. It is becoming more apparent to everyone in this country that education is key to strengthening our youth and our nations. This is very much a legacy of the work and life of Carol Sanderson,” said National Chief Atleo.