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Indigenization Plan

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Introduction

This document describes the College of Arts & Science’s commitments to contribute to reconciliation and to Indigenize the University of Saskatchewan. It describes five goals, the first of which lies at the heart of everything the College does. The other four goals are more specific and, because they are equally important, the order of presentation does not reflect a ranking. Instead, those goals address key dimensions of the College – the students, faculty and staff, research, scholarly, and artistic work, and community – each of which is indispensable for a vibrant and healthy College of Arts & Science.

The definition of Indigenization guiding this document is the definition brought to University Council as an information item by the Teaching, Learning, and Academic Resources Committee on February 16, 2017. This definition was developed by an ad hoc Indigenous faculty group, and is as follows:

Indigenizing within the University of Saskatchewan is a proactive and dynamic process for engaging faculty, staff and students to:

  • strengthen inclusive communities and partnerships that respect and understand the value and importance of Indigenous1 knowledges and practices (e.g. histories, teachings, languages, traditions, ceremonies, protocols, creative expressions, etc.) belonging to the diverse peoples of Saskatchewan and beyond, and that recognize that academia benefits by valuing and including pluralistic ways of knowing, thinking, and doing;
  • engage in critical reflection of the colonial history and systemic effects on Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, including Treaty relationships and Métis and Inuit land rights;
  • operationalize the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to enact a transformative reconciliation of the University of Saskatchewan’s commitment to inclusion and authentic voice and engagement of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Saskatchewan and beyond; and
  • promote and support Indigenous visions and aspirations for self-determination through transformative education for Indigenous well-being, growth and prosperity.

1Indigenous peoples is inclusive of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada and their unique perspectives.

This document is the product of a series of in-depth conversations with students, staff, and faculty who freely donated their time to provide their ideas and feedback. We gratefully acknowledge their insights and contributions as this document could not have been written without their help.


Goal #1

Indigenizing and decolonizing the College of Arts & Science

This goal addresses three objectives that lie at the heart of everything undertaken in the College of Arts & Science:

  • Address the challenges of racism and colonialism in the college and university
  • Promote respect and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities
  • Articulation and teachings of Manâcihitowin (respect one another) will be fluid and deeply known and evident throughout the college

These three objectives are directly linked to the Uplift Indigenization, Experience Reconciliation, and Embrace Manâcihitowin goals of the University Plan. Students will learn the context of the contemporary and historical position of Indigenous people, and in so doing also understand the need to challenge and transform core elements of settler colonialism. This goal also directly contributes to one of the five areas of impact to which the University aspires – Transformative Decolonization Leading to Reconciliation – and addresses the TRC’s Calls to Action related to for-credit programming in Indigenous languages.

  1. The College of Arts & Science will provide opportunities for all faculty and staff to participate – on a volunteer basis – in training aimed at raising awareness of and addressing racism in the workplace and the classroom. This training will be mandatory for heads and senior administration.
  2. The College of Arts & Science will work with the ASSU and the Indigenous Student Council to organize an annual anti-racism event/campaign for all students. Potential events include concerts, high-profile speakers, and social media awareness campaigns.
  3. The College will establish a system for reporting and responding to instances of racism in the classroom and workplace, in an mediator role working with Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services.
  4. The College of Arts & Science will create an Indigenous space in a central, high visibility location. This space will be complementary to the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre, must be appropriate as a meeting space for Indigenous students, faculty, staff, and community members, and will be suitable for smudging.
  5. The College of Arts and Science will change its standards for tenure and promotion to recognize the significance of community engagement, community-based research, and contributions to Indigenization.
  6. The College of Arts & Science will support language retention and revitalization through various initiatives throughout the College, including signage and support for developing language-focused courses.
  7. The College of Arts & Science will include an Indigenous course requirement in all its programs.
  1. Funding for training courses on addressing racism in the workplace and the classroom
  2. Funding for anti-racism campaign
  3. Admin support for an ombudsman position in the College of Arts & Science
  4. Space and funding to create an Indigenous meeting space. College-funded in the short term, and donor-funded in the long term
  5. Part of regular duties of departmental committees and college review committee
  6. Funding for welcome signs in multiple Indigenous languages in key locations. Support for development of Indigenous language courses and programs
  7. Funding for increasing teaching capacity in terms of courses and qualified instructors for the Indigenous course requirement, in collaboration with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning
  1. Number of participants and increases therein each year
  2. Number of events and participants that are part of the anti-racism campaign
  3. Reduction in the number of incidents of interpersonal and systemic racism, as indicated by reporting mechanisms that encourage candid disclosure (including anonymous reporting mechanisms)
  4. Number of users and events in the Indigenous meeting space
  5. Number of departmental standards that include recognition of community engagement, community-based research, and contributions to Indigenization
  6. Number of courses and enrolment in Indigenous language courses
  7. Number of courses that meet the Indigenous course requirement and number of instructors participating in Indigenous Course (re)Design program

Goal #2

Indigenous Student Success

This objective specifically deals with Indigenous student success. The College of Arts & Science is committed to addressing the underrepresentation of Indigenous students in post-secondary education through recruitment, retention, and graduation. This goal addresses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action on Indigenous student success and implements the principles on Indigenous Education stated by Universities Canada.

These objectives from the College Plan address the Uplift Indigenization and Experience Reconciliation goals of the University Plan.

  1. Enable the success of Indigenous students, both throughout their studies and after graduation
  2. Increase retention of students between first- and second-year, with special attention to Arts and Science Indigenous student populations and students who are among the first generation in their families to attend university

  1. The College of Arts & Science will increase its efforts to recruit and support Indigenous students, including through the Aboriginal Student Achievement Program (ASAP), ASAP STEM Pathways, and the 90-level courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. The College will continue to collaborate with other colleges, including Engineering and Nursing, to provide and enhance these supports. The College will continue to support students through the Trish Monture Centre (TMC).
  2. Indigenous students will also benefit from the College’s commitment to Put Students First as described in the college-specific strategic commitments.
  3. The College of Arts & Science will honour cultural commitments and contributions in students’ co-curricular records.
  4. Courses will honour Indigenous pedagogies and learning strengths in assessment and instruction to privilege competencies and skills emphasized in Indigenous life-long learning curricula alongside knowledge emphasized in Western academic outcome-based curricula. Course development will take into account accessibility and attractiveness to mature and parent student cohorts. The College of Arts & Science will increase opportunities for land-based education.
  1. The Aboriginal Student Achievement Program is currently supported by funding from various sources, including the College of Arts & Science, the Indigenous Engagement Strategic Fund (OVPTLSE & OVPIE), the College of Engineering, and the Council of Health Science Deans. Funding is also provided by SaskPower and Husky Energy. Enrolment is near capacity in the STEM area. Conversations with our funding partners are ongoing to maintain and, where needed, increase capacity.
  2. See college document for information on Student First project
  3. Existing resources
  4. The College of Arts & Science in partnership with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning (GMCTL) has set up Indigenous Learning Development Fund to support developing new courses and modifying existing courses for the College of Arts and Science’s Indigenous Learning Requirement. The College and GMCTL will each contribute $80,000 in 2018/19 and 2019/20. GMCTL’s portion will come from the Curriculum Innovation Fund.
  1. Percentage and numbers of Indigenous students in all years (total and per department). Quantitative and qualitative measures of success of Indigenous students (GPA, retention rates, time to completion, graduation rate, and scholarships) should improve markedly year to year until on par with those of non-Indigenous students. Increase in number undergraduate Indigenous students engaging in research, leadership, and cultural activities.
  2. See college document for information on Student First project.
  3. Number of Indigenous students with a co-curricular record.
  4. Number of participants and courses supported through the Indigenous Learning Development fund. Number of courses and enrolment in land-based courses.

Goal #3

Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Success

The objective is to increase the College of Arts and Science’s percentage of and support for Indigenous faculty, and Indigenous role models in all fields The College of Arts and Science has made a commitment to increase the proportion of Aboriginal faculty to 15% from its current number of 4%, to reflect the current demographic profile of Saskatchewan. To reach this goal, the College will need to add 32 additional Aboriginal members to its faculty complement through its Aboriginal Faculty Recruitment Strategy, the first year of which was 2017-2018.

This objective addresses the Experience Reconciliation goal of the University Plan and the College specific commitment to Inspire Excellence and Increase Diversity and Equity in Faculty and Staff.

  1. The College implemented an Aboriginal Faculty Recruitment Strategy according to which 50% (to a maximum of 3) of the positions available in its annual faculty complement planning process are used to recruit Indigenous faculty members. In 2017-2018, two faculty were hired under this program. The College has committed to continuing this initiative until the goal is reached.
  2. Department and college standards will be revised to recognize contribution to Indigenization, Indigenous ways of knowing, and engagement with Indigenous communities. The College will actively strive at improving recognition, tenure and promotion, and retention of Indigenous faculty. The College will honour and value the role of our College and departments in developing junior faculty who successfully graduate to senior positions at other institutions.
  3. The College, in partnership with the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI), has created a Research Chair in Métis Studies. The chair was approved in the spring of 2018, and the search is currently underway.
  4. Develop a program for appointing a community scholar(s) and elder(s)-in-residence
  1. Hiring under the Aboriginal Faculty Recruitment Strategy is part of the regular, annual faculty hiring process whereby positions that become available through retirements and resignations are allocated to departments through the complement planning process. No additional, new resources are required.
  2. Retention of Indigenous faculty would require funding for special increases, teaching release, and research and graduate student/post doc support as is done at present in similar cases involving non-Indigenous faculty.
  3. The College has committed a faculty position appropriate for a senior scholar for the chair. Additional resources to support the chair were committed by GDI and CGPS.
  4. Funding for one full-time or two part time positions
  1. % Aboriginal faculty to reach 15%
  2. Progress of Indigenous faculty to tenure and promotion to be at the same pace as other faculty. Improved retention of Indigenous faculty across all disciplines within the College of Arts & Science
  3. Quantitative and qualitative measures of success of the chair include HQP, publications, funding, and community engagement.
  4. Quantitative and qualitative measures of success of the position(s), including number of students engaged and narratives describing the interaction and outcomes.

Goal #4

Establish a Centre for Indigenous Scholarship

To fulfill our commitment to share our teaching and learning as well as our research, scholarly, and artistic work with our community; to develop and promote strong, permanent relationships with our community; and to pursue knowledge mobilization in our scholarship, the College of Arts and Science will establish a research centre to address these objectives:

  1. Create a centre to support all aspects of Indigenizing RSAW, driven by community input
  2. Pursue a deep understanding of Indigenous peoples, settlers and immigrants, the cultural diversity, the connections, and the economies on this land
  3. Participate in collaborative Tri-Agency research programs that directly or indirectly contribute to Reconciliation and decolonization
  1. The College of Arts & Science will establish a Centre for Indigenous Scholarship with the mandate to be the focal point for community-driven research in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts that directly benefit Indigenous people and communities. The Centre will be an interdisciplinary space to foster collaboration, offer a flagship graduate student scholarship and mentorship program, provide incentives for Indigenous research, and attract visiting scholars from around the world.
  1. The Centre for Indigenous Scholarship is funded by the College of Arts & Science from funding previously allocated to ICCC. Funding includes an admin position, a teaching release for the director of the centre, and funding for research support distributed through the Centre. The centre has also been assigned office space.
  1. Indicators of success of the centre include Tri-Council and other funding leveraged using Centre funding, qualitative and quantitative measures of community engagement and knowledge transfer to the community resulting from research projects, and qualitative and quantitative measures of graduate student outcomes.

Goal #5

Strengthen partnerships with the community

This goal reflects our dedication to the University Plan’s Inspired Communities commitment to achieve meaningful change with and for our communities. As the College pursues goals 1 to 4, it must do so guided by the community. The changes we envision, including developing engagement opportunities, expanding and re-envisioning a Northern programming strategy, and increasing internship and experiential learning, can only occur through meaningful engagement with and in partnership with our communities. This goal addresses the following objectives:

  1. Strengthen partnerships (possibly through an Advisory circle to the dean) with the City of Saskatoon, local community-based organizations, and neighboring communities, to become delineated under a formalized process for consultation
  2. Strengthen partnerships with individual Indigenous communities, within and beyond the province
  3. Establish symbiotic community connections: be a catalyst to forge strong connections to the wider world, and connect the local to the global
  1. The College of Arts & Science will explore the creation of an advisory circle to the Dean, with members drawn from Indigenous communities – broadly defined – to provide advice to the Dean on matters of interest to the Dean and the advisory circle related to the college and university. The college will work together with other colleges and the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement as it develops the plans for the advisory circle.
  1. Funding for an annual meeting of the advisory circle, including travel, honoraria, meals and refreshments, and gifts
  1. Quantitative and qualitative measures of success of the advisory circle include the number and engagement of participants, impact of advice on the college, and initiatives resulting from advisory circle activity. Monitoring community impact could be done through social mapping or other communications data to see how connections forged with and through the advisory board relate to and are beneficial to community-engaged research, student recruitment, and post-secondary funding decisions.