|Honorary Degree recipient, D. Musqua, 1995 (Convocation Program)|
Convocation date: May 25, 1995
Discipline / contribution: Indigenous education ; Indigenous culture
Citation / biographical information:
Both Daniel and Thelma Musqua share a love for lifelong learning to which their educational accomplishments can bear witness. They are both strongly rooted in the Saulteaux language, tradition and philosophy having been surrounded by knowledgeable elders. They continue to share this with their 9 children and 16 grandchildren. Daniel Noel Musqua is of Saulteaux and Cree ancestry and is a member of the Bear Clan in the Saulteaux Nation. He has earned top honours as an Elder of the Saulteaux Nation and currently sits on the Elders Council. Thelma has been involved in the social development of her community taking on a number of different roles: Band Councillor, Band Administrator and currently as the N.N.A.D.A.P. Coordinator at Keeseekoose First Nation Health Clinic. A proud graduate of the Indian Social Work degree program at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, one of Thelma’s strongest assets is her ability to communicate in both Saulteaux and English.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Daniel’s first years of education were spent in a residential school. He then went on to high school in Lebret, Saskatchewan where he attained a grade eleven education. Daniel continued on to complete a Recreational Technology course in Red Deer, Alberta. This was only the beginning of a lifetime of educational pursuits for Daniel in the justice, social, economic, political and education fields.
In his most recent work as Lecturer and Elder-in-Residence with both the Indian Teacher Education Program and the Aboriginal Student Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, Daniel’s presence has made a significant difference in these programs. He has offered advice to faculty and staff that has allowed them to become more inclusive in presenting an Aboriginal worldview. He has been a strong force in working with the Aboriginal students in the ITEP program as they connect the western perspective of the College of Education with their Aboriginal traditions, perspective and beliefs.
The strength and power of Daniel’s lectures are in his words—words which reflect his life and values of life which he has learned from his Elders. He is a unique and holistic individual with an incomparable balance in life. He captivates his audiences with a magnetism that exudes kindness, love and unity. His greatest words of inspiration are to create a system of order for living—do it early and live the order you want to impose. His unbiased attitude toward all peoples of the world has been his greatest strength in bridging gaps that exist between the First Nations peoples and the non-First Nations peoples.
He has the ability to lecture in any discipline of modern education from a traditional elder’s perspective incorporating the history of First Nations cultures and traditions. The College of Education’s Mission Statement recognizes that Aboriginal students in ITEP are distinct from nonAboriginal students in cultural background, socio-economic status, political governance and academic preparation. Daniel has addressed all these differences with his own perspectives as a First Nations person and the knowledge gained from affiliated work experience he has had with Corrections Canada, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, and First Nations political organizations.
Daniel Musqua has made a significant impact on the Aboriginal community in Saskatchewan and is seen as a role model for Aboriginal youth.
Degree presented by: Murray Scharf, Dean of Education
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