USask renews commitment to working with Indigenous organizations on Urban Reserve

SASKATOON – With a sound on-going commitment towards Indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is pleased to announce that it has joined a growing number of organizations in renewing its presence on an urban reserve in the city of Saskatoon with the announcement of a new location.

 “The location of the space will foster the development and strengthening of meaningful and respectful engagement with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Language Keepers, and Indigenous peoples, communities, businesses, and organizations,” said Jacqueline Ottmann, vice-provost Indigenous Engagement at USask. “The opportunity to realize our goals in the areas of Indigenization will be supported by the relationships that will be fostered at this location.”

There is so much opportunity for collaboration and partnerships, with the new space offering more accessibility to the university for both new and existing tenants.  Organizations such as the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv), and in very close proximity to this USask’s new space, along with the Saskatoon Tribal Council’s (STC) head office. The Muskeg Lake office development, which is located on Packham Avenue, is well known as a place that supports a high traffic flow of people coming from Indigenous communities.

 “We envision the space to be a community collaborative area for Indigenous faculty, and staff who will be working with and alongside Indigenous communities from across Saskatchewan,” Ottmann.

Previous to this strategic move to the new urban reserve space in Saskatoon, USask had been leasing space in a business complex on highway #11 south of Saskatoon owned by English River First Nation. After almost 10 years, USask will leave English River at the end of June.

 “Our time at English River substantively set the stage for enhancing community outreach and Indigenous engagement and helped units to develop external partnerships that support our goals in both academic programming and research,” said Patti McDougall, vice-provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Experience.  “We are grateful to all who contributed to the experiences at English River.”

One of the themes that emerged from the Indigenous Strategy consultation with Indigenous students, staff, faculty and external organizations is the need for USask representation and a continued presence off campus. USask’s presence at Muskeg Lake (Packham) also contributes to the need for USask to be outward-facing and to be the University the World Needs, adding to the fulfillment of the Indigenization pillar and goals associated with it (e.g., uplifting Indigenization, experiencing reconciliation, embracing manacihitowin).



For more information, contact:

Shannon Cossette
Communications Officer
Office of the Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement
University of Saskatchewan



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