|November 12, 1999||Volume 7, Number 6|
Research visit by Australian aborigine may lead to exchanges
A three-month research visit to the U of S by an Australian aborigine student is being touted as the first of what could become an aboriginal exchange program between this University and one "down under" that would produce huge benefits for both.
Australian aborigine Andrew Peters, a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) student from the Lilydale campus of Swinburne University, just outside Melbourne, has been hosted by the U of Ss Native Studies Dept. since his arrival more than a month ago.
Hes here to study indigenous tourism, as practised here, and he has meetings with officials at Wanuskewin, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the Indian Gaming Authority, and other groups.
On Nov. 2 Peters faculty advisor from Australia, Tony Nankervis, visited the U of S, visiting various officials and speaking highly of his hopes that Peters activity will blossom into a full-fledged aboriginal undergraduate exchange program between the U of S and Swinburne University.
He says he arranged for Peters to make the trip after U of S International Students Office Director Kurt Tischler met someone from Swinburne at a conference and they discussed the idea of an exchange.
"The idea is to give indigenous students the opportunity to study indigenous people elsewhere," Nankervis said.
Peters study of indigenous tourism here is a great start, Nankervis said, because, "Canada does it better than we do. This will be an enormously practical piece of work."
Nankervis said hes certain the U of S is the university Swinburne should pursue indigenous exchanges with, "because of the commitment to indigenous education here. Were stunned at it."
He says the next step, after Peters returns to Australia in the New Year, would be at some point to have an aboriginal student from U of S visit there.
And hed like to see that become a regular exchange. "Im confident it will happen, but its just when and how," Nankervis said.
He and Peters say aborigine education has been "sadly neglected" for a long time in Australia, and the contact with Canada will be beneficial.
Peters says he "loves" Canada and Saskatoon so far, and the hospitality is great. Hes billeted with an aboriginal student and family, and shares an office in Maclean Hall.
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