The University of Saskatchewan is highlighting one of their programs devoted to Aboriginal land management.

A handful of students and faculty were on hand for a presentation Tuesday morning of the newly named Kanawayihetaytan Askiy – “Let Us Take Care of the Land” – certificate.

“This program bridges common law with traditional Indigenous practices,” said First Nations Elder Leona Tootoosis during a video presentation on the program.

The certificate program has been around for a few years, but was recently renamed. According to Candice Pete, Senior Strategic Officer of Indigenous Programming for the College of Agriculture, the name change was extremely important.

“We worked very closely with Aboriginal communities to develop what the vision was and the needs are and we wanted to move forward with the program based on feedback from Aboriginal communities,” said Pete.

Pete says the program gives students an opportunity to develop areas of governance management, administration and political science as they relate to Aboriginal communities.

Students take seven different courses during the one year program, which includes a research project undertaken with a partnering First Nation.

A group of students presented on the research project they have undertaken with Mistawasis First Nation. They were asked to work with the reserve in three different areas. They examined the environmental impact of a recent beach development, looked at best practices for current agriculture lease lands and made a proposal for four quarters of reserve land deemed unusable for agriculture.

“The hope for today’s presentation is to share information on the importance of lands and resource training for Aboriginal communities,” said Pete.

The seminar also outlined two new diplomas introduced this past fall in Aboriginal Resource Management and Aboriginal Lands Governance.

Tuesday’s presentation is one of many events taking place at the University of Saskatchewan over the next few days as apart of the organizations Indigenous Achievement Week.

(PHOTO: Candice Pete speaking on the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program.  Photo by Joel Willick)