Aboriginal high school students getting a look at life on campus

The University of Saskatchewan is playing host this week to high school students getting their first taste of university life.

The Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Program addresses the under-representation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students at Canadian universities, particularly in technical and scientific fields. Scholarships are offered to Aboriginal Grade 11 students from across the country to spend a week at a Canadian university, experiencing all it has to offer.

Having been offered many times at the University of Manitoba, the program had been preparing for a national expansion this year, with the University of Saskatchewan approached to be its first partner.

"The Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation is such an important initiative towards engaging young Aboriginal people and giving them the chance to see themselves as scientists," said Patti McDougall, vice-provost of teaching and learning at the U of S. "We're excited that the program is expanding its reach nationally and the University of Saskatchewan is happy to serve as host."

Ten Aboriginal students from Saskatchewan and British Columbia are spending a week (May 25-29) at the U of S alongside their faculty mentors from engineering, kinesiology, and veterinary medicine, as well as the Canadian Light Source—getting their first glimpse of campus life and what might await them if they attend university down the road.

The students are paired with a faculty mentor and, for the week, are a full member of a research team: doing experiments, attending research meetings and assisting with lab work. They also stay in residence, dine at campus eateries, and participate in cultural, wellness and technology programming—giving them a well-rounded campus experience.


For more information, contact:
James Shewaga
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-1851