Let’s Lead – Nīkānētān is a full school year program for Grade 8 students who want to spend their entire year learning the curriculum through practical, hands-on, out-of-school experiences. It is a program for young people who enjoy being in the outdoors and have shown the potential for leadership but who might not have been able to realize their potential due to financial barriers. Through experiential education and holistic learning, students in Let’s Lead – Nīkānētān plan for the future by developing their leadership and teamwork skills in a culturally responsive way, thereby enriching their lives and our community.
This program is for students who enjoy experiencing:
First Nations, Métis and Michif cultural teachings and opportunities
Camping and living on the land
Improving leadership and teamwork skills.
The program is taught by teachers Mandy Cooper-Sarrazin and Evan Nienaber, both of whom have more than 20 years of experience working in an outdoor environment and teaching leadership and teamwork.
Equipment and Costs
All equipment, transportation and food costs, along with any other fees, are covered by the program for each student. Saskatoon Public Schools, along with Westmount Community School, supplies all the necessary equipment, including backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and rain gear. There is no cost for food on trips, bus passes or travel. However, there may be times when students are expected to help with a fundraiser or community service.
Build relationships with other students and staff.
Develop leadership and teamwork skills, and lead students in other schools in many activities.
Engage in experiential, hands-on learning in a culturally responsive atmosphere.
Learn how to make choices and deal with the consequences of those choices.
Plan for the future with career education and activities that build self-confidence.
Receive integrated, project-based learning assessments that use criteria other than marks.
Applications are closed for the 2023-24 school year. Applications for the 2024-25 school year will be available in February 2024.
Of the students who apply, approximately 70 to 80 will be chosen to participate in an application camp at Pike Lake. Students who meet the selection criteria will have their names entered into a lottery and 28 individuals will be chosen to participate in the program.
Selection criteria includes:
- Able to get along with others.
- Makes responsible, safe, independent choices.
- Contributes to the group.
- Shows a willingness to learn and take correction from others.
- Able to meet the physical demands of camp.
- Perseveres to the end.
- Listens and respects both peers and teachers.
- Shows self-control.
- Demonstrates a kind, caring and accepting attitude toward others.
For more detailed information about the program, click
For questions, please contact teachers Mandy Cooper-Sarrazin at
or Evan Nienaber at