The University of Saskatchewan continues to make the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action part of its plan moving forward.
The institution released its seven-year “The University the World Needs” strategic plan Wednesday.
U of S President Peter Stoicheff says part of this plan includes building on past successes in terms of Indigenization.
“A lot of things have worked,” he says. “We now have a site on campus that is dedicated to Indigenous ceremony and that’s the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Students’ Centre.”
Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement Jackie Ottmann says it also includes continuing to make the university a comfortable environment for Indigenous students.
“When you consider the Indigenous student population right now, it does send a message that the Indigenous students, at a greater numbers, are feeling comfortable attending the University of Saskatchewan,” she says.
The U of S has a little over 3,000 self-identified Indigenous students.
Ottmann says when she attended the institution as a student back in the early 1980’s; there were only a handful of Indigenous students, faculty and staff on campus.
The strategic plan includes the three commitments of courageous curiosity, boundless collaboration and inspired communities.
It also contains the goal of increasing signage on campus in traditional Indigenous languages.
The strategic plan was drafted with the input of First Nations and Métis stakeholders.
The plan is also branded with the Cree and Michif words nikanitan manacihitowinihk and ni manachihitoonaan, which translate to “let us lead with respect.”
(PHOTO: University of Saskatchewan Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement Jackie Ottmann (left) presents President Peter Stoicheff (right) with a ceremonial blanket at the launch of the university’s seven-year strategic plan. Photo by Fraser Needham.)