History of the Department

The idea for an Indigenous Studies Department at the University of Saskatchewan was first put forward by Aboriginal students in 1978-79. These students were asking for a program that affirmed the value and dignity of Aboriginal societies: their histories, languages, philosophies and oral and literary traditions, as well as their traditional institutions and lifestyles.

The College of Arts and Sciences responded to these requests with the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee, which in 1981 recommended that such a program be created. In 1982 the Native Studies Programme was formally introduced and in 1983 the Department of Native Studies was created. Four years later the department was granted the right to offer a graduate program and since 1997 it has offered a complete graduate program.