The Saskatoon Tribal Council and University of Saskatchewan have signed a formal agreement to continue taking steps to Indigenize the institution.

The memorandum of understanding pays particular attention to honouring treaty relationships and following up on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

STC Chief Mark Arcand says the agreement is all about making the university an inclusive place for First Nations people.

“When we talk about the diversity and inclusion of individuals, First Nations people, attending the university, we want to provide every opportunity for them to succeed,” he says. “And we also want look at the opportunities to enhance inside of our First Nations communities, at a very young age, so these children can potentially go to their university which is their home at the U of S.”

U of S President Peter Stoicheff says the MOU builds upon the university’s recently released strategic plan.

“Indigenization runs foundationally through all of that plan and uplifts every single commitment that’s int it,” he says. “There’s nothing that we’re doing now at the University of Saskatchewan that is not touched by Indigenization and reconciliation.”

Stoicheff adds the agreement builds on many things the university is already doing.

Nevertheless, he says it is important the institution be held accountable down the road by a formal agreement.

As part of the agreement, the two organizations have also committed to working together toward educational attainment and economic development for Indigenous people.

Roughly 30 per cent of the U of S student population self identifies as members of STC First Nations.

The agreement was signed Thursday morning at the STC offices in Saskatoon.

(PHOTO: Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand, left, and University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff, right, at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations. Photo by Fraser Needham.)