Indigenization a priority for uRegina and uSask

January 28, 2015

The University of Regina recently announced its new 5-year strategic plan, titled peyak aski kikawinaw­—Cree for “we are one with Mother Earth.” The plan highlights Indigenization and sustainability as uRegina’s 2 areas of emphasis; student success, research impact, and commitment to communities are also identified as key priority areas. The university will examine any new programs, buildings, and services through a First Nations lens. The plan names a number of specific goals, including increased student completion rates, more Indigenous learning, courses in each program that address Indigenous concepts, integration of the liberal arts across disciplines, more tenured and tenure-track faculty, and a reduction in deferred maintenance. Indigenization is also top-of-mind for the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Engineering, which is launching several initiatives designed to attract Aboriginal students to the study of engineering. The college last year hired an Indigenous Peoples Initiatives Coordinator, and plans are underway to build an Indigenous students' centre in the College of Engineering, hire Aboriginal student ambassadors, and start an Aboriginal engineering students' association. There is also a goal to hire more Aboriginal instructors in the college. Coordinator Matthew Dunn believes that the lack of Aboriginal engineering students is partially due to a lack of role models; “if we have more Indigenous engineers out there in society, then their nieces, their nephews, their cousins can look up to them as role models and say, ‘I can be an engineer as well,’” he said. uRegina News Release | Leader-Post | StarPhoenix