Saskatchewan education minister Don Morgan

Saskatchewan education minister Don Morgan speaks as Don Dore, who works with the Prince Albert Grand Council, and FSIN vice-chief Bobby Cameron look on. (Kathy Fitzpatrick/CBC)

First Nations students will now have access to one thing every other student in the province already has — Microsoft computer software. 

The province is spending $120,000 to extend its Microsoft licensing agreement to First Nations schools, which includes programs like Word, Excel and Powerpoint. The goal is to increase technological literacy and meet learning needs of

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students from across Saskatchewan. 

"They were missing out a big piece of that Microsoft software which is going to be used when they leave school," said Don Dore, who works with the Prince Albert Grand Council. "That's going to be one of the pieces that they need to be able to work with."

Creating an equal playing field

It is the first time First Nation K-12 schools have been included in the Microsoft Licensing Agreement, which will result in better technology to support students, teachers and administration, the province said.

Dore said that until now, a lot of students had to make do with open source software because First Nations schools could not afford Microsoft products. Students will now be on an equal playing field with others across the province when it comes to computer software.

The deal will also provide software purchasing savings and regular updates. Access to Microsoft software will begin in this month.