Our Goals and Visions

Vision

The Department of Indigenous Studies faculty members are active leaders in innovative and transformative teaching and research with community partners on and off campus at the local, regional, national, and international levels. We are recognized internationally for our dedication and commitment to the development of healthy communities; dynamic networks; applied community-engaged research; a leading-edge, relevant and comparative academic program grounded in Indigenous perspectives; and the scholarly excellence of our students and faculty. The Indigenous Studies Department is central to the life and vitality of the University of Saskatchewan and upholds the pillars—innovation, Aboriginal engagement, research and internationalization.

Mission

The Department of Indigenous Studies serves and engages with Indigenous communities and societies at large, at the local, regional, national and international levels. Indigenous Studies is committed to:

  • Indigenous perspectives grounded in Indigenous knowledge, experience, ways of knowing, and geographies.
  • Capacity building by enhancing healthy and sustainable Indigenous communities, knowledge systems, and environments.
  • Graduating Indigenous Studies Students with relevant and innovative skills, insight, and commitment to social justice and transformation.
  • Excellence in the scholarly activities of teaching, critical analysis, applied and community-based research.
  • Knowledge translation that results in the betterment of relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples
  • Transformative applied, comparative, and innovative research, community service, and teaching that impacts policy and practice, and preserves and creates Indigenous knowledge.

Values

The Department of Indigenous Studies values the traditional values of our ancestors: honesty, courage, generosity, humility, respect, wisdom and truth. The Department of Indigenous Studies values universal education: community engagement, open mindedness, knowledge translation, innovation, scholarly excellence, local and global concerns, capacity building, social justice, and the betterment of society. The Department of Indigenous Studies also values: balance, humour, hard work, and relationship building.

A significant difference between Native Studies and other disciplines, is that other disciplines tend to examine Aboriginal societies exogenously, whereas Native Studies attempts to understand them from within. Native Studies holds that Aboriginal collectivities are unique localised social entities, who to be fully understood need to be considered in a national context and as integral to the global mosaic of Indigenous Peoples.

From this basis Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan actively supports the promotion and definition of Indigenous Studies as an independent field of study that has at its core the scholarly enquiry into Aboriginal society and societies. The Department of Indigenous Studies seeks to provide an intellectual milieu where teaching and research are well grounded in the priorities and knowledge of Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal communities, all the while placing them within the larger fabric of the Canadian Aboriginal experience and the emergent global, social phenomenon of indigeneity. Researchers and students in Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan explore and seek to understand the fundamental nature of Aboriginal society. As a centre of academic inquiry based on sound pedagogical and research principles, the Department of Indigenous Studies is striving to develop more expansive and innovative views on Indigenous Knowledge, going well beyond simple binaries like juxtaposing Indigenous knowledge in opposition to Western scholarship. Rather the Department has taken on the more challenging task of demanding excellence in conventional scholarship in addition to developing new and culturally appropriate methodologies and theories sourced in the Aboriginal life.