U of S Aboriginal Achievement week celebrates leadership

The University of Saskatchewan's Aboriginal Achievement Week takes place Feb. 2 to 6. Community members on and off campus will celebrate Aboriginal achievement and leadership by attending more than 25 events taking place on campus.

By Jennifer Thoma
Media and the public are invited to attend events, join in on the discussions, eat great food and enjoy the celebrations. For a complete list of events, including dates, times and locations, visit aboriginal.usask.ca.

Session highlights and photo opportunities include:

Traditional Aboriginal games
Noon-2 pm
Convocation Hall, Peter MacKinnon Building, 105 Administration Place
The College of Arts and Science and the College of Kinesiology are excited to welcome Lamarr Oksasikewiyin to campus. Oksasikewiyin specializes in teaching Aboriginal games, and during this session he will introduce participants to the fundamentals of traditional Aboriginal games, and the skills and values they teach.

Sustainable community development in Aboriginal communities
Media contact: Candice Pete: (306) 966-4041, candice.pete@usask.ca
Noon-2 pm
Room 1E80, College of Agriculture and Bio-resources Building, 51 Campus Drive
The College of Agriculture and Bioresources is hosting Darwin Derocher from Flying Dust First Nation. He will provide an overview of their journey through different land management regimes over the past 20 years and will explain each of the regime's complexities.

Bring on the heat
Media contact: Tasha Hubbard, assistant professor, Department of English tasha.hubbard@usask.ca
3-4:30 pm
Convocation Hall, Peter MacKinnon Building, 105 Administration Place
Indigenous arts are on an upswing in Saskatoon, and this event celebrates the words, ideas and fearlessness of creators of poetry, theatre, comedy and other wordplay. A "battle of words" will be hosted by Indigenous Art Fellow Kenneth T. Williams, and judged by the esteemed poet Louise Halfe and the host of CBC Radio's Unreserved, Rosanna Deerchild.

USSU speaker series presents Dr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette
5:30 to 6:30 pm
Convocation Hall, Peter MacKinnon Building, 105 Administration Place
Dr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, from Red Pheasant First Nation, will give the annual University of Saskatchewan Students' 'Union (USSU) Aboriginal Achievement Week Speaker Series Lecture on the importance of leadership for our communities.

Aboriginal arts festival
Media contact: Alexandra Thomson: 306-966-5790, alexandra.thomson@usask.ca
6:30-9:30 pm
Louis' Pub, 93 Campus Drive
The Indigenous Students' Council is hosting an Aboriginal Arts Festival. The festival celebrates Indigenous culture in the form of artwork, live music, poetry, dance and fashion. The night will kick off with a fashion show featuring the work of local Indigenous fashion designers. Local artists will then perform live music, poetry and dance. Indigenous artwork, jewelry, accessories and clothing will be showcased for viewing and for sale.

Aboriginal achievement week student awards ceremony
2-4 pm
Exeter Room, Marquis Hall, 97 Campus Drive
The Aboriginal Students' Centre is hosting the Students Awards Ceremony. The ceremony is dedicated to recognizing Aboriginal student achievement at the university. Students who have been selected for an award have excelled in their studies, conducted unique and compelling research, shown leadership, or made significant contributions to the community.

Indigenous leadership in medicine and nursing
Media contact: Val Arnault-Pelletier: 306-966-5901, valerie.arnault@usask.ca
10-11:30 am
Convocation Hall, Peter MacKinnon Building, 105 Administration Place
The College of Medicine and the College of Nursing present two leaders in Indigenous healthcare, Dr. Alika Lafontaine and Vanessa Schellenberg. Dr. Lafontaine was born and raised in Saskatchewan, completing both his medical doctorate and anesthesia fellowship at the U of S. Schellenberg is a First Nation's woman from Beardy's Okemasis First Nation. She is a registered nurse, graduating from the Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan in 2011. Lafontaine and Schellenberg will give their perspectives on leadership in their respective practices.

Feast and round dance
Media contact: Barry Shingoose, ITEP president: bas720@mail.usask.ca
4 pm-2 am
Education Gymnasium, Education Building, 28 Campus Drive
The Indian Teacher Education Program's Student Council is hosting their annual feast and round dance to celebrate and to conclude Aboriginal Achievement Week. This year's round dance celebrates students from both past and present, and also acknowledges the Elders, community members, alumni, faculty, staff and students who have committed themselves to helping shape the university into a positive place for Aboriginal people.


For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:

Jennifer Thoma

University of Saskatchewan