Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for the opportunity to share with you.
I'm going to talk briefly about my background. I have a Ph.D. in education, and my presentation will focus particularly on aboriginal girls. Part of my presentation will be from my own lived experience and observations from my visits to first nations communities. I'm a Plains Cree, a fluent Cree speaker, and I have been an educator for 35 years. This is my 15th year in a university setting.
What I see as the main issue for improving the economic prospects of aboriginal girls is education. Currently we are experiencing a number of funding cuts in education and health. They will have serious implications for improving the situation of aboriginal girls.
When I visit first nations communities I always say that I believe I'm visiting a third world country. Poverty and inadequate housing are some of the barriers to improving economic prospects for aboriginal girls. The most serious issue is related to the quality of water in the communities. That in turn affects nutrition and the general health and well-being of girls.
Those are some of the observations I would like to make.
On the positive side, as a department head of professional programs that include the school of business, the nursing education program of Saskatchewan, indigenous education, and the Indian social work program, the majority of our students are female. That is really positive, in terms of improving economic situations.
I welcome any questions you have for me. I generally come from a background in education. I have been a teacher for a long time, so I welcome any questions.