The University of Saskatchewan has announced a new research chair that will focus on Métis governance and policy – the first of its kind in Canada.

The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan and Johnson and Shoyoma Graduate School of Public Policy are partnering together and committing a combined $1.13 million over the next four years for the formation of the JSGS Research Chair in Métis Governance and Public Policy.

Filling the new position will be Métis citizen and associate professor Dr. Kurtis Boyer.

The university held an event on Tuesday morning where they celebrated Boyer and the new position along with the continued partnership between the MN-S and Usask.

“Usask and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan have had a long-standing relationship, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to expand on that partnership today,” said Usask President Peter Stoicheff.

“The University of Saskatchewan is not only proving itself to be a formidable partner by turning words into action, but is taking bold steps not seen in any other institution in this country,” echoed MN-S President Glen McCallum.

The focus of the new position will be to explore ways in which governance and policy making can be guided and informed by Métis culture, values, and tradition.

“I am deeply honoured,” said Dr. Boyer in his speech where he thanked many people for making the research chair position a reality.

“I am very proud of what this chair represents it is part of a rebuilding process as Métis people are redefining where we sit in society,” said Boyer. “This chair is going to share with the world the unique things Métis governments are undertaking.”

Of the total funds, $20,000 a year will be allocated to attract Métis students interesting in conducting research in Métis governance as well as an internship program for Métis undergraduate and graduate students.

“The research chair will make the university a welcome space for Métis students,” said Boyer.

Another key component of the funding will allow Boyer to develop a Métis Governance Training Program for staff and elected officials at MN-S and other interested organizations.

The associate professor will now begin his tenure.

(PHOTO: Dr. Kurtis Boyer speaks at an event at the U of S celebrated his new role as Research Chair in Metis Governance and Policy. Photo by Joel Willick.)