The University of Saskatchewan’s new president says engaging more Aboriginal students is critical to the future of the institution and the province.

Ilene Busch-Vishniac gave her first state of the university address this afternoon.

The U of S president says the university has done a better job in recent years in terms of improving its Aboriginal student and faculty numbers, but there is lots of room for improvement.

“If in this province and in Canada, across the entire nation, we are to see Aboriginal people economically thrive, and the nation thrive — we must address the issue of education, access, attainment and jobs for Aboriginal people,” she says.

Busch-Vishniac says the soon-to-be-built Gordon Oakes Red Bear Students’ Centre is one way the university is trying to better engage Indigenous students.