2021

September 24, 2021

Hello members of the USask community. Bonjour.
tānsi. hau koda. ëdƚanet’e? hau kola. taanishi. hau kona. anin 

[English. French. Cree. Dakota. Dene. Lakota. Michif. Nakota. Saulteaux]

We acknowledge we are on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

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This September, Canada will mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. September 30th ensures the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools are never forgotten. Our university has decided to acknowledge this important day by supporting a day of reflection and learning for our campus community to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools and the resilience of survivors. I am writing to provide information about planning and activities associated with our university’s recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Thank you for the ways in which we each take action towards our university’s aspiration of transformative decolonization leading to reconciliation.

Our university will be closed on September 30th to support reflection and learning. This closure has meant changes to arrangements in many areas. Thank you for adapting so that USask classes, labs, and other course components can pause that day. Essential campus services will continue to operate.

USask has prepared a series of events that will span the entire week from September 27th through September 30th to raise awareness and support reflection and education. These events begin on the evening of September 27th with remarks by our President and the illumination of our Saskatoon campus in orange light. The live stream is available for viewing here.

There is also a range of activities planned across the university. Thank you to all those involved in this time of reflection, truth-finding, and action. You can find the information on the USask site prepared for National Truth and Reconciliation Day. The commitment to reconciliation and community continues year-round, and you can find information here.

September 30th coincides with Orange Shirt Day. This began in 2013 and includes wearing orange shirts to honour Indigenous children forced to leave their families to attend residential schools. The orange shirt came to symbolize the experiences and abuse suffered by children at residential schools after Phyllis Webstad, a member of the Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation, shared the story of her first day going to school on the Dog Creek reserve in British Columbia. Please do join me in wearing orange and orange shirts at some time during the week of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Our entire university community is welcome to participate in the programmed events that promote reflection on the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools and the importance of our university’s humble, intentional efforts for truth and reconciliation. Thank you for sharing with your colleagues the information about these events. We can also access further resources, including the history of residential schoolsSurvivors’ stories, explore the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's official reports and  94 Calls to Action and other key reports.

I want to close by offering my sincere appreciation to everyone on campus who has been involved in USask's recognition of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Sincerely,

Airini
Provost and vice-president academic

 

 

August 23, 2021

Interim Associate Provost, Strategic Priorities – Dr. Vince Bruni-Bossio

Interim Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Experience– Dr. Jay Wilson

August 20, 2021 

Deputy Provost Announcement – Dr. Patti McDougall

Interim Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement – Dr. Angela Jaime 

June 29, 2021

Hello colleagues . Bonjour.
tānsi. hau koda. ëdƚanet’e? hau kola. taanishi. hau kona. anin
[English. French. Cree. Dakota. Dene. Lakota. Michif. Nakota. Saulteaux]

I write to share the exceptional news that Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann, misiwaykomiguk paypomwayotung (Saulteaux), has been appointed president of First Nations University of Canada (FNuniv). Dr. Ottmann has provided outstanding leadership, teaching, and purpose-driven work to the University of Saskatchewan as the inaugural vice-provost Indigenous engagement since 2017.  We wish her well in her new leadership role. While we are sad that Dr. Ottmann will depart USask, we celebrate her appointment to a role of regional, national, and international significance, one that recognizes her considerable experience and expertise in Indigenous higher education leadership and systemic transformational work.

In fall 2017, Dr. Ottmann became vice-provost Indigenous engagement at USask and was appointed as professor to the College of Education. She is recognized as an international researcher, advocate, and change-maker whose purpose is to transform systems and practices to be inclusive of Indigenous leadership, methodologies, and pedagogies. In her role as vice-provost Indigenous engagement, Dr. Ottmann has been motivated to advocate for changes in schools and communities that foster a deeper sense of belonging and appreciation for Indigenous peoples – their histories, stories, ways of knowing and being. Dr. Ottmann is the first Indigenous person elected as president of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education.

Dr. Ottmann has worked alongside Indigenous and non-Indigenous people within and outside of the university to achieve the academic mission of USask. There are so many achievements from Dr. Ottmann’s leadership, including:

  • Indigenous Strategy: Through Dr. Ottmann’s leadership, the first Indigenous Strategy for USask was informed and validated by Indigenous students, faculty, staff, and community, and will be gifted to the university in the summer of 2021

  • Formal agreements: In addition to oversight of MOUs with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Saskatoon Tribal Council, Métis Nation - Saskatchewan, Prince Albert Grand Council and the Canadian Roots Exchange, numerous agreements have been facilitated by Dr. Ottmann, including with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.

  • External grants: Dr. Ottmann has been active in securing external grants, including a COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant from the Mastercard Foundation to support connectivity and remote learning for Indigenous students at USask, as well from the Suncor Energy Foundation to pilot the Building Intercultural Resilience Mentorship Program.

Dr. Ottmann has provided highly impactful leadership, including the initial development of an Indigenous faculty and staff hiring and retention action plan, Indigenization of the standards for promotion and tenure, decolonization and Indigenization of the institutional research data governance and management mechanisms, and advancing Indigenous research (e.g., Mawatsitwin 2021 – Land-Based Teachings), Anti-Racism Strategy support, and the māmowi āsohtētān Internal Truth and Reconciliation Forum. The forum was awarded the 2021 Prix D’Excellence Award Silver Medal for the Best Indigenous Relations Initiative by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education.

As vice-provost Indigenous engagement, Dr. Ottmann has provided truly inspirational, transformational, and visionary leadership for the Indigenous academic portfolio at the University of Saskatchewan. We are grateful for her vision and leadership. We look forward to continuing to work with FNuniv within the Saskatchewan post-secondary sector and as fellow members of Universities Canada.

Interim leadership arrangements will begin on Aug. 1 and will be forthcoming, along with planning towards hiring our next senior leader for the Indigenous academic portfolio at USask.


@USaskAirini

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