USask. Indigenous Strategy

August 17, 2021

University of Saskatchewan – The Indigenous Strategy, ohpahotân | oohpaahotaan (“Let’s Fly Up Together”) will be gifted in a ceremony on Aug. 20 to the University of Saskatchewan (USask) on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples who informed and validated the process as a companion to the University Plan 2025. The ceremony marks a historic event for USask as it celebrates the first Indigenous Strategy that has been solely created by Indigenous people at a Canadian U15 research institution.
This historic new Indigenous Strategy calls for meaningful and respectful action to advance Indigenization and support transformative decolonization, leading to reconciliation. The Office of the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement has been collaborating with USask’s Indigenous community of students, staff, faculty, and leaders, Elders, Traditional Knowledge Keepers and Language Teachers since 2018.
By embedding the principles of this strategy in all aspects of our University Plan 2025, USask is committed to being a national leader in Indigenous engagement and reconciliation as we strive to be the university the world needs.
Our strategy is grounded in seven fundamental commitments—interdependent, mutually reinforcing, interconnected in time and space. These commitments reflect important concepts to Indigenous peoples, our ways of knowing and being.
These commitments are central to the wholeness of Indigenous self-determination:
• Safety. Creating and realizing inviting, welcoming and safe spaces for Indigenous peoples, free from racism and oppression.
• Wellness. Integrating wholistic healing supports for the University’s Indigenous com- munity, including students, staff, faculty and leaders.
• Stewardship. Preserving and amplifying Indigenous cultures, languages and protocol learnings.
• Representation. Uplifting Indigenous peoples in University spaces and places. Right Relations. Supporting active and respectful partnerships and engagement with
• Indigenous peoples—ethical and relational spaces.
• Creation. Acknowledging, resourcing and investing in wise practices and activities— conjuring the creative spirit that inspires innovation.
• Renewal. Strengthening and sustaining pathways of access and success—connecting with Indigenous youth.
We describe the Guiding Principles that reflect the beliefs, values and philosophies that underpin each of our commitments. Importantly, we empower the University to deliver on its commitment to Indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation through concrete Calls to Action that reflect the voices and aspirations of Indigenous students, faculty, staff, and members of broader Indigenous communities. Finally, we have identified a series of Markers that can serve as guideposts for the University to better understand the impact of implementing these actions, help monitor and evaluate progress, and ensure accountability.
On Oct. 18, 2020 the University of Saskatchewan Senate passed a motion to accept the gift.