Kanawayihetaytan Askiy means “let us take care of the land” in Cree. Developed in collaboration with First Nations, the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program is focused on providing a broad range of topic areas specific to the management of lands and resources on federal reserve lands. The program is designed for Indigenous land managers and leadership, economic development staff, youth, government staff, and individuals interested in working with Indigenous communities.
This academic program is offered by the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan (USask). The program consists of the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy certificate, the Indigenous Lands Governance diploma, and the Indigenous Resource Management diploma.
The two diplomas were originally created to be laddered into from the certificate and required completion of the certificate for admission. Students can now enter the diploma program directly from high school. This change makes the program more accessible to future students, increases the number of graduates in the field, and introduces the topic to a younger audience.
“We’re proud of the growth of the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program and of our college to respond to student and community needs,” said Jordie Gagnon, senior strategic officer, Indigenous programs and partnerships of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “The Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program offers a blend of scientific and traditional knowledge, and our students learn from industry-leading researchers, such as Dr. Melissa Arcand (PhD).”
Arcand, an associate professor in the Department of Soil Science at USask, leads the ASKI 101.3 Field Studies in the Environment course for the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program.
“By expanding our admission options, we are strengthening and diversifying our student community,” said Arcand. “The Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program provides hands-on learning opportunities and skills that students can use to lead in their communities and across the country.”
The Indigenous Lands Governance diploma provides students with a broad background in governance, management, administration, and political science as they relate to Indigenous communities and prepares students for roles in governance. The Indigenous Resource Management diploma focuses on resource management for Indigenous communities and prepares students to become land managers in their communities. Both diplomas prepare students for leadership roles in local, provincial and national settings.
“The new admission pathway for the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program is a great example of how our college continuously adapts our curriculum to meet the needs of learners,” said Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn (PhD), dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “Graduates of the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program have a tremendous impact in their communities and across Canada. We look forward to further collaboration with Indigenous communities to expand and co-create programming.”
To accommodate the professional work lives of students, the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program provides a blended learning method of classroom, online and field studies. The program is currently accepting applications for admission. Questions about the program can be directed to AgBio Student Services.