Dr. Kurtis Boyer sits in an office with a blue background, and a Métis flag in the background
Appointed to the research chair is Dr. Kurtis Boyer (PhD), JSGS assistant professor, advisor to USask’s Office of the Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement, and citizen of MN–S. (Photo: submitted)

New research chair at USask to focus on Métis governance and policy

The Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S), University of Saskatchewan (USask), and Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) have committed a combined $1,130,000 over four years to support the establishment of a JSGS Research Chair in Métis Governance and Policy—the first of its kind in Canada. The funding will also support scholarships and internship opportunities for verified Métis students and the development of a Métis governance training program.

Appointed to the research chair is Dr. Kurtis Boyer (PhD), JSGS assistant professor, advisor to USask’s Office of the Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement, and citizen of MN–S.  

In his new role as research chair, Dr. Boyer’s work will enhance the genuine decision-making authority of the Métis Nation by exploring ways in which governance and the policymaking process can be guided and informed by Métis culture, values, and tradition.  

Of the total funds committed, $20,000/year will be allocated to attract and support Métis students interested in conducting research and increasing scholarship in Métis governance. Boyer will also work collaboratively with the provincial graduate school’s USask and University of Regina campuses to develop an MN–S internship program for Métis undergraduate and graduate students. The internship program will help students gain valuable career experience and establish a professional network while providing MN–S with high-quality policy work and research capacity. 

Lastly, as a key component of the funding, Boyer will work with the JSGS Executive Education unit to develop a Métis Governance Training Program for staff and elected officials at MN–S and other interested organizations. 


“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 through the announcement of this new research chair. Together, we can continue to identify common priorities to improve upon the education status of and opportunities for Métis people in the province.”
- Dr. Peter Stoicheff (PhD), USask president 

“USask is honoured to partner with the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan on the establishment of the new Research Chair in Métis Governance and Policy,” said Dr. Airini (PhD), USask provost and vice-president academic. “This research chair aligns with the five aspirations outlined in our University Plan 2025: Transformative Decolonization Leading to Reconciliation, Productive Collaboration, Meaningful Impact, Distinguished Learners and Global Recognition.” 
- Dr. Airini (PhD), USask provost and vice-president academic 

“The University of Saskatchewan and the Métis Nation—Saskatchewan signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2019 to improve the education status of Métis people, remove barriers and close the university achievement gaps between Métis and non-Indigenous populations. We are pleased to build upon our strong relationship with the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan through the establishment of the new Research Chair in Métis Governance and Policy. Congratulations to Dr. Kurtis Boyer on this new position. The important work that he will undertake in this role will support our university’s Indigenous Strategy, which is providing the path forward as we continue our reconciliation journey.”
- Dr. Angela Jaime (PhD), USask interim vice-provost, Indigenous Engagement   

“Through this new partnership with MN–S, JSGS was able to appoint Dr. Kurtis Boyer, a scholar in Métis governance, and increase capacity to infuse Métis knowledge and ways of knowing into our curriculum. His contributions, both in the classroom and through his research, will help develop thoughtful and skilled decision makers thereby improving governance systems, and ultimately, quality of life for Métis people throughout the province.” 
- Dr. Loleen Berdahl (PhD), JSGS executive director 

 “The University of Saskatchewan is not only proving itself to be a formidable partner by turning words into actions but, under President Stoicheff’s leadership, is taking bold steps not seen at any other institution in this country. USask introduced the first policy in Canada to verify Métis citizens seeking opportunities on campus. Now, we are pleased to have Kurtis Boyer assume this first-ever Métis Governance and Policy Research Chair position to help pave the way for our next generation of Métis leaders.”
- Glen McCallum, MN–S President 

“By establishing the Métis Governance and Policy Research Chair at the university, we are sending a very positive message to our youth that the opportunities on campus are endless. We’re also showing our citizens that the intentions of the agreements we sign with our partners like USask are being actualized.”
- Tim Roussin, MN–S Minister of Early Learning Child Care/Post-Secondary Education

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