USask president’s statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Every year on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate and honour the unique cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples, and acknowledge the continuing challenges faced by First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

For the University of Saskatchewan (USask), this is a time to reflect and re-commit – as individuals and as an institution – as we reaffirm our shared responsibility to uplift Indigenization and to advance transformative decolonization leading to reconciliation. USask is dedicated to embracing the spirit of manācihitowin (Cree for “Let us respect each other”) and is working to create collaborative and reciprocal relationships and progressive partnerships with Indigenous peoples, both on our campuses and in the communities we serve.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day and throughout National Indigenous History Month, we encourage all members of the university community to take the time to learn more about the diversity of Indigenous communities, cultures, and languages, and the heritage and history of Treaty 6 Territory and the homeland of the Métis. It is important to educate ourselves about the ongoing impacts of colonialism, to honour residential school survivors, and to remember those who never returned from residential schools.

On the summer solstice, we invite you to take part in events being held in the Saskatoon area on June 21, beginning with the Rock Your Roots: Walk for Reconciliation at Victoria Park, as well as National Indigenous Peoples Day activities at Remai Modern and the National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations at Wanuskewin. We also welcome you to learn more online by visiting the USask news page and Office of the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement website as well as the University Library’s Indigenous Studies Portal and National Indigenous History Month Research Guide.

We are committed to embedding Indigenous ways of knowing and being into our research, scholarly and artistic work, and dedicated to continuing the conversation, to listening, and to engaging in constructive dialogue. We must always acknowledge the past in order to change the future, as we strive to be the best place we can possibly be with and for all Indigenous students, staff, faculty, alumni, and their communities. 

Peter Stoicheff
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

Together, we will work towards Truth and Reconciliation. We invite you to join by supporting Indigenous achievement at USask.