The Indigenous student experience, reconciliation through teaching and learning, re-thinking university governance and structures, and anti-racist research and action were all themes of a Reconciliation Forum held at the U of S Tuesday.
Over 300 faculty, staff and student leaders participated and gave their input as to how the U of S can implement the calls to action, build reconciliation and become the best place it can be for Indigenous students and their communities.
President of the Indigenous Student Council at the University of Saskatchewan, Dallas Fiddler, says it is very evident to him community is one of the most important things to students because some students have put off graduate studies just to give back to their community.
He adds increased scholarship opportunities and partnerships with Indigenous communities are also very important.
The University held a ground-breaking national forum in 2015 and came up with the themes that drove this forum: “Education is the key to reconciliation and the time for action is now.”
Elders coming into classrooms to speak with the students was part of the change that occurred after that forum.
Peter Stoicheff, the President of the U of S says he would like to see teachings from elders become more of a permanent fixture.
Earlier this year, the University of Saskatchewan and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding aimed at improving academic success of First Nations students on campus.