USask Approves Native Membership/Citizenship Verification Policy – USask News | Candle Made Easy

Policy Task Force members, composed of prominent Indigenous elders, leaders and knowledge keepers, at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Center at the University of Saskatchewan. (Photo: David Stobbe)

The 28-strong Indigenous Task Force, made up of prominent Indigenous elders, leaders and knowledge keepers and supported by a 20-strong internal advisory board of university representatives, began developing its policies in January 2022. The USask Board of Governors approved the policy on July 8.

A complete list of task force members is attached to this press release. It included delegates from the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S), the Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations, the Saskatoon Tribal Council, the Prince Albert Grand Council and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.

The name of this policy “deybwewin (Saulteaux)| taapwaywin (Michif)| Tapwewin (Cree)” means truth—truth for self, truth for one another, truth for ancestors, and truth for the land.

“This policy, led by Indigenous Task Force members, recognizes the inherent rights of Indigenous communities to self-determination and self-government,” said Dr. Airini (PhD), USask Provost and Vice President Academics.

“It is important that the work related to indigenous people Membership/citizenship verification was conducted by indigenous peoples and we are particularly grateful for the participation of external indigenous partners who bring perspectives from their communities.”

A permanent, indigenous-led Standing Committee will be established by September to develop an implementation plan and procedures for the policy.

“This policy empowers the indigenous communities to guide the university on this matter,” said Dr. Angela Jaime (PhD), Interim Vice President, Indigenous Engagement and Chair of the Task Force. “The indigenous communities have asked for this policy. Centering the voices of indigenous peoples is reconciliation.”

MN-S will provide support and approvals for review under the terms of a citizenship agreement signed with USask.

“With our Indigenous elders leading the work, the task force has found a positive resolution for Indigenous verification,” said MN-S President Glen McCallum. “As the government of the Métis Nation in Saskatchewan, and in a spirit of reconciliation, we have been pleased to be significant participants in the development of this policy. The pioneering work of this task force is a powerful example that should be seriously considered by other institutions in the country.”

“Under covenant and inherent rights, First Nations are the traditional rights holders of their citizenship and sovereignty. At the Saskatoon Tribal Council, we are pleased that the University of Saskatchewan has developed and endorsed a policy recognizing First Nations communities as these traditional rights holders. This will allow accountability for those who hold positions intended for tribal peoples,” said Chief Mark Arcand of the Saskatoon Tribal Council. “We support this process, which honors the voices of our elders, and believe other Turtle Island institutions should follow this process.”

Consultations with First Nations communities on implementation will begin in August 2022.

The full policy can be found here.

Task Force Members

  • Chair: Angela Jaime, Vice Provost, Indigenous Engagement (Interim)
  • Elder Harvey Thunderchild
  • Elder Joseph Naytohow
  • Elder Josie Searson
  • Elderly Louise Halfe
  • Elder Louise Pederson
  • Elder Norman Fleury
  • Bob Badger, Cultural Coordinator, Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement
  • Dale Worme, Delegate for the Office of Contracts Commissioner
  • Chief Mark Arcand, delegate of the Saskatoon Tribal Council
  • Rhonda Bluehorn, Delegate of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
  • Doloris Netmaker, Delegate of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
  • Rob Norris, Métis Nation Delegate – Saskatchewan
  • Robin McLeod, Delegate of the Prince Albert Grand Council
  • Winona Wheeler, Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies, College of Arts and Science
  • Karla Williamson, Assistant Professor, Educational Foundations, College of Education
  • Kurtis Boyer, associate professor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
  • Mary Longman, Associate Professor, Art and Art History, College of Arts and Science
  • Graeme Joseph, Team Leader, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Success, Aboriginal Student Center
  • Sheila Pocha, Program Manager, SUNTEP/GDI Saskatoon
  • Val Arnault-Pelletier, Senior Lead, Indigenous Programming and Initiatives, College of Medicine
  • Yvette Arcand, Director of the Indian Teacher Education Program
  • Adam McInnes, graduate student representative
  • Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias, Student Representative
  • Candice Pete-Cardoso, Director, Indigenous Land Management Institute
  • Amaranta (Amy) Sokól Como, Project Manager, Indigenous Initiatives, Office of the Vice Provost, Indigenous Engagement
  • Matt Dunn, Director, Indigenous Engagement, Office of the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement
  • Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, Senior Director, Provost’s Indigenous Initiatives and Community Relations, Office of the Provost, and Vice President Academic

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