The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and The Saskatchewan First Nations Women’s Commission (SFNWC) at the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

In a media release sent out Friday afternoon the two sides said the agreement will work to support Indigenous research. Specifically, the MOU will see pewaseskwan, the Indigenous Wellness Research Group at the university work with the FSIN to make sure research involving First Nations communities benefits those communities. The two sides will also work to ensure their is First Nations leadership in research. The partnership will also explore opportunities for collaboration in academic and community research, especially in the areas of Indigenous cultural expression, health and wellness, environmental conservation and stewardship, and food sovereignty.

FSIN Vice Chief Aly Bear is looking forward to the opportunities this agreement presents.

“We are excited to partner with the pewaseskwan research team as we collaborate to ensure research regarding First Nations communities is community-led, respects our cultural values and helps create a future our communities are working towards,” she said.

Dr. Alexandra King, the Cameco Chair in Indigenous Health and Wellness who co-leads pewaseskwan explained for the Indigenous research group the agreement is an important one.

“This is an important step in our partnership with the FSIN. We look forward to strengthening our research with First Nations communities and working with the SFNWC we’ll be able to pursue opportunities that are culturally safe, and community led,” she said.