A woman from Regina received an honorary Letters doctorate this week at the University of Regina spring convocation ceremony.

Gloria Mehlmann worked as a teacher at four different schools in the Regina Public Schools system from 1962 to 1983. “I taught in Regina for about 20 years in the public school system in four different schools and enjoyed that tremendously. I learned quite a lot of the things, I wanted to learn about education in reality,” said Mehlmann.

After her teaching career, Mehlmann was seconded to serve as the director of research and development at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, which has since become the First Nations University of Canada. From 1994 to 2004, she oversaw the integration of Indigenous perspectives and content into the K–12 curriculum as director of Aboriginal Education for the provincial Department of Education.

Mehlmann would later go on to publish a memoir in 2008 reflecting on her teaching career. “It’s a reflection of children in society at a time when society was undergoing change; there were a lot of families who were being impacted; family breakdowns, for example, began to show in those years, and how the children’s lives were touched by that, by those changes,” she said.

Mehlmann explained that she would be receiving the honourary doctorate for her work in the community and her work in the education field. “I’m going to be getting an honourary doctorate for my work in the community and in education specifically. I will be bestowed with a doctorate, and it’s going to be too wonderful for words,”  Mehlmann said.  “I just feel so honoured, and I feel that for all the years that I actually wanted to go to university but couldn’t afford to go, it’s sort of a final thing where I can say, well, I have done some achievements that are worthy of community recognition, and I think that is an important way of getting a degree as well.”

(Photo courtesy of the University of Regina.)