For University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff, the ability to answer these questions lies in the hands of Indigenous communities, according to a recent article published on Academica Forum.
“We will know that we have made headway when Elders, when Indigenous students, when Indigenous leaders and Indigenous communities are telling us that we are,” said Stoicheff after the recent release of USask’s new seven-year plan, which places Indigenization at the top of its list of priorities. The plan is entitled The University the World Needs, and has been gifted Indigenous names nīkānītān manācihitowinihk (Cree) and ni manachīhitoonaan (Michif), which translate to “Let us lead with respect.”
“The world needs a university in which Indigenous concepts, methodologies, pedagogies, languages, and philosophies are respectfully woven into the tapestry of learning, research, scholarship, creativity, and community engagement,” the plan states, adding that these values are part of a broader commitment to “transformative decolonization” leading to reconciliation.
Among the plan’s goals will be making the university a provincial, national, and global leader in Indigenization and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
“There are many post-secondary institutions across this country that are working on reconciliation,” says Stoicheff. “But here in [Saskatchewan], we have to be a leader.”