President's statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day

In Canada tomorrow, June 21, marks the 24th annual recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day. June also marks National Indigenous History Month, which commemorates the ongoing impacts Indigenous peoples have made across Canada.

These events are an important time for all Canadians to observe and learn about the history, culture and perspectives of Indigenous communities in Canada, and to commit to and enact positive change with Indigenous peoples.

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is committed to Indigenization and Reconciliation on campus and beyond, from the ongoing Building Reconciliation Internal Forum, which was launched by USask in 2017 as a response to the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, to the many partnerships we have with Indigenous communities to deliver meaningful educational opportunities. I and USask are and will remain dedicated to Indigenous student success, to fostering meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities, and to promoting Indigenous knowledges and scholarship.

We strive to be the best place we can be with and for Indigenous students and their communities. We have done much work to that end, realizing that the work is never done. Guiding this work will be the first Indigenous Strategy at USask, to be gifted to us by Indigenous leaders, and created by the Indigenous community including USask students, faculty and staff, as well as by Elders, Traditional Knowledge Keepers, Language Teachers and other community leaders. 

The strategy is a companion to our University Plan 2025 that itself contains the university’s commitment to transformative decolonization leading to Reconciliation. The Indigenous Strategy also acknowledges the university’s historical participation in colonialism. The Strategy was created in an inclusive and respectful way, and that is how we will implement it as well.

We look forward to continuing this crucial work, to listening, to actively engaging in the dialogue, and to advancing Reconciliation and our ongoing relationships with Indigenous communities on campus and beyond.

Peter Stoicheff
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

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