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"The circumstances within my community inspired me to question the leadership and governance structures in place."

Developing leadership principles to restore Indigenous culture and wellbeing

Highlighting the research of College of Education PhD student Terrance Pelletier, who was recently put forward by the University of Saskatchewan to be nominated for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (SSHRC).

As a former chief of the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan, Terrance Pelletier is interested in using educational administration, historical sociology and critical race theory to gain a better understanding of how the residential school system impacted leadership in his home community. Currently a PhD student in the Department of Educational Administration, Pelletier aims to develop leadership principles and governance systems that restore Indigenous culture and wellbeing, and advance self-determination for his community and other First Nations. 

“Tragedy within my family and community has inspired me to question the historical circumstances relating to residential schools and Indian Affairs,” said Pelletier, a former farmer whose family had been in residential schools for five generations.

“Ultimately, I hope that the insights gained from my research will help First Nations, and the broader Canadian population, to understand the powerful, continuing impacts of colonization. We need to develop First Nations leadership principles and governance systems that are consistent with our culture,” added Pelletier.

Terrance Pelletier began his post-secondary studies in the ITEP program in 1988, with the support of family in Saskatoon. Through the encouragement and support of the University of Saskatchewan faculty and staff, he started his master’s studies in 2006. In 2015, Pelletier entered the Department of Educational Administration’s doctoral program after being awarded a scholarship from the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit (SELU).

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