The University of Saskatchewan recognizes the fundamental importance of its relationship with Indigenous peoples, and is strengthening these ties by providing opportunities for faculty and staff to learn about Indigenous peoples’ histories, cultures, and ways of knowing. The Indigenous Voices initiative is one venue for this learning, and addresses topics such as basic skills and knowledge, protocols for community engagement, and effective pedagogical strategies, with the goal of co-creating a more equitable and sustainable society.
Faculty in the College of Education’s BEADWORK committee initially proposed this initiative to address the inadequacies of formal education for Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. The College of Education and Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness (GMCTE) are leading this work, and programming was piloted in these units before reaching a broader audience, in Fall 2013. The emphasis placed on Indigenous peoples, knowledges, and ways of knowing in Saskatchewan’s recently revised K-12 curricula underscores the need to enhance the College’s capacity to provide relevant support to pre-service teachers. The GMCTE is similarly aiming to strengthen its ability to assist instructors, departments and colleges that are interested in bringing Indigenous people and perspectives into their teaching, programming, and disciplinary communities.