About MESC

Ermineskin Elementary students entering tipi

Maskwacîs Education Schools Commission (MESC) was developed based on Maskwacîs Cree values and focused on the needs of students. Extensive consultation, research, planning and negotiations took place leading up to the inception of MESC.

MESC is owned & operated by Ermineskin Cree Nation, Louis Bull Tribe, Montana First Nation and Samson Cree Nation. MESC is the education authority for the Maskwacîs Cree. The MESC head office is located in Maskwacis 70 KM South of Edmonton, AB in the Treaty No. 6 Territory.

MESC offers Indigenized curriculum, by embedding Cree culture, language, and traditions into 9 Maskwacîs schools with emphasis on Îyinîw Mâmitonehicikan,  Nehiyawewin, Nehiyaw Pimâtisôwin, and Wâhkôhtowin.

Vision Statement

Competent, confident and resilient Maskwacîs Cree speaking students

Mission Statement

To govern an outstanding Maskwacîs education system that ensures students attend respectful and inspiring schools.


For 129 years, residential schools were an attempt by the Government of Canada to assimilate First Nations people. There was a mission school in Maskwacis as early as 1894. Ermineskin Indian Residential School was one of the largest residential school in Canada and operated in Maskwacis from 1916 until 1975. From 1975 until 1990, the Canadian Government assumed the responsibility for running Ermineskin Schools.

MESC began as a collaboration between the education authorities in Maskwacîs. The purpose was to examine ways of improving student achievement. By focusing on students, we have been able to continually improve the quality of Cree education for children. The number of students going to school on reserve has increased significantly when local control of education began.

Attendees of the 2016 MESC Education Summit. Group photo.
MESC Education Summit 2016

History of Maskwacis Education Schools Commission

MESC began as a collaboration between the education authorities in Maskwacîs. Originally, “MESC” stood for “Maskwacîs Education Steering Committee”. The purpose of the committee was to examine ways of improving student achievement.

In May 2015, the first Maskwacîs Education Summit was held to evaluate the proposal of creating a unified school system. A motion was passed by the Maskwacîs leadership that read:

“Be it resolved that we, the Maskwacîs Cree Chiefs and Council, direct the Maskwacîs Education Steering Committee to investigate the possibility of developing a Maskwacîs Education Authority that meets the following criteria/principals/conditions:

  1. Treaty based
  2. Guaranteed funding for the process
  3. Adequate time frame; and

    Further than, proper protocol be conducted to commence the process.”

In February 2016, MESC was incorporated under the new title, Maskwacîs Education Schools Commission.

Funding was secured to begin research on creating a Maskwacîs Cree school system.

Spirit and Intent of the Treaty

Maskwacîs amalgamated 11 schools from 4 separate authorities to create the Maskwacîs Education Schools Commission (MESC). MESC believes the main step that Canada can take to uphold the spirit and intent of our Treaty right to education is properly funding schools controlled by First Nation communities. As Maskwacîs Cree, we determine how to best implement our Treaty right—and the best way to implement the Treaty right to education is to achieve a high degree of success within our Maskwacîs schools based on community priorities and Maskwacîs Cree beliefs