U of S signs agreement to support Indigenous Land Management professionals

SASKATOON - With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) College of Agriculture and Bioresources and National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA), Indigenous students can use course credits from both institutions to receive professional certification.

The agreement, signed June 1, will allow six courses from NALMA Professional Land Management Certification Program to be used towards academic programming in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, said Fran Walley, associate dean, academic in the college.

Additionally, six courses in U of S's Indigenous Peoples Resource Management program—recently renamed the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program­­­—will be recognized by NALMA as satisfying requirements for Level 1 of the Professional Land Management Certification.

"The name of the program reminds the collective 'us' of our shared responsibility and commitment to work together to share knowledge and ultimately to take care of the land that is so important to us all," said Walley, adding that this partnership is an extension of that philosophy.

The goal of the agreement is to develop and carry out collaborative activities in order to bolster the number of First Nation land managers and to recognize the accomplishments of those professionals working in First Nation lands and environment disciplines.

Offered since 2006, the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy certificate—Cree for Let Us Take Care of the Land—has successfully trained 200 Aboriginal land managers and through this new partnership that number will continue to grow.

"NALMA has partnered with the University of Saskatchewan since 2003," said Gino Clement, chair of NALMA. "Together we have made it our commitment to advance programming in lands and resources to enable First Nations to progress their communities into greater levels of autonomy."

Seeking partners to enhance professional development and technical expertise while incorporating First Nations values and beliefs in lands management is at the heart of what NALMA does, Clement continued.

"Through this partnership we have certified 143 First Nations Lands Managers across Canada," said Clement. "We look forward to continuing our productive partnership for years to come."

"The MOU between the College of Agriculture and Bioresources and the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association is a natural and exciting step in committing to a continued successful relationship," said Walley.


For more information, contact:

Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan
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