Report supports further work on equity, diversity, and inclusion at USask College of Medicine

SASKATOON – A report to help the University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Medicine better address issues of systemic inequity was jointly released today by the medical school and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC). The SHRC conducted research and interviews to develop the report using a systemic investigation and advocacy approach.

The report, The Case for a Restorative Response to Perceptions of Systemic Inequity at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine: A Systemic Investigation Summary Report, is being shared today.   

“We are happy to release the report with SHRC today,” said Preston Smith, dean of the college. “We are sharing it fully and openly and it will inform our increased efforts to change and improve as an equitable, diverse, and inclusive medical school. While we have made improvements, we know we have much more to do.” 

The report provides an overview of systemic advocacy, summarizes the SHRC’s investigation and findings, and identifies issues for the college to address.

“I commend the College of Medicine for reaching out and working with us on this initiative and the work done to date. I’d also like to thank all those involved for their input and collaboration,” said Barry Wilcox, K.C., Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. “This report is an important progress point, offering a path forward for the College of Medicine as it pursues its goal of being an equitable learning organization.”

advances took place in the college while the report was being developed. These include doubling the number of seats available for Indigenous people in the medical doctor program from 10 to 20 of 100 total seats effective this year, increased resources focused on Indigenous health, and improvements in student complaint processes. At the university-wide level, USask will soon release its equity, diversity, and inclusion action plan, and the deybwewin| taapwaywin| tapwewin policy is part of USask’s larger efforts to embrace Indigenization in the USask community. 

In November 2021, USask signed the Scarborough Charter alongside partner institutions across Canada, signaling the university’s commitment to redressing anti-Black racism and to fostering Black inclusion. To amplify this important work, a new advisory committee has been created by Dr. Airini (PhD), USask’s provost and vice-president academic, to provide advice to action commitments outlined in the Scarborough Charter.

“We’re taking action to ensure all faculty, staff, and students are represented, respected, valued, and supported as they engage in USask’s teaching, learning, and research missions,” said Airini. “Our University Plan 2025 has been gifted the Indigenous names nīkānītān manācihitowinihk (Cree) and ni manachīhitoonaan (Michif), which translates to ‘Let us lead with respect.’ Respect will be key as we continue to work together, as a campus community, to further our equity, diversity, and inclusion goals.” 

The college and the SHRC will continue to work together on next steps, including how the issues identified in the report will be addressed. 

“As an
educator our college has an important leadership role in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion that we take seriously and to which we are committed,” Smith said. “We will lean on the report contents and the issues identified to become a more welcoming, culturally safe, and diverse organization. It’s the right thing to do and will make us a better, more successful medical school for the people of Saskatchewan.” 


For media inquiries, contact: 

Victoria Dinh 
USask Media Relations 

Adam Hawboldt
SHRC Media and Communications

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