Building reconciliation

Indspire Youth Laureates Cross Canada Tour

Marking Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the University of Saskatchewan is partnering with Indspire to bring the Indspire Cross Canada Youth Laureate Tour to our campus on May 30, 2017. In the form of a panel discussion, the event will showcase local Indspire Awards laureates to dialogue with local Indigenous and non-indigenous students, educators, parents and the community about the importance of a solid education. The interactive panel session will engage youth and inspire them to overcome their obstacles and reach their goals.

The cross Canada tour will be hosted in seven cities – Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Yellowknife. It is launching with the Indspire Soaring Career Conference to be held in Ottawa on March 23, 2017 and finishing on November 2017, with the closing celebration to be held in conjunction with the Indspire National Gathering in Montreal.


Saskatoon Tour:
Date & time: May 30, 2017, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: Convocation Hall, Peter MacKinnon Building, 107 Administration Place
Moderator: Suzette Amaya
Laureates: Andrea Dykstra (Indspire Award Received: 2006 Youth – First Nation), Josh Butcher (Indspire Award Received: 2017 Youth – Metis), Fauna Kingdon (Indspire Award Received: 2005 Youth – Metis)

U of S Building Reconciliation Forum

Faculty, staff and student leaders are invited to attend a full-day event on March 7 that will focus on how the U of S can respond to the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. By showcasing some of the current successes taking place at the university, faculty and staff will be able to learn high-impact practices in how to incorporate the principles of reconciliation in teaching and learning, research, enhancing the student experience and university governance and administration.

Following up from the national Building Reconciliation forum, this event is meant to continue conversations at the U of S on how to build reconciliation and become the best place we possibly can be for Indigenous students and their communities.

The Art of Indigenization on Campus

At the University of Saskatchewan we have made building reconciliation an institutional priority and have committed ourselves to living up to the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. We continue to make huge strides to improve Indigenous success, promote Indigenous scholarship and work meaningfully with Indigenous communities and nations. This has translated into a revitalized campus – there is a sense of hope and discovery, of respect and inclusion that permeates our people and our landscape.

Starting at the University gates the walk leaders will take you on a short tour and discussion of how the University has begun the indigenizing process by pointing out some of the colleges and buildings that have transformed their curriculums and serve indigenous people as students, teachers and elders sharing the learning experiences.  The walk will end at the new Gordon Oakes Red Bear Centre where participants can share a cup of coffee or tea and see inside the magnificent architecture of this building that through its design and meaning links our past with the future vision.

Walk Details:

Walk Leaders: CeCe Baptiste, Analyst Institutional Planning and Assessment & Graeme Joseph, Team Lead of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Success
The walk will begin at the Peter MacKinnon Building in front of the Bowl at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 6, 2017. It will end at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Centre, with refreshments provided. The walk and conversation should take no more than one hour.

Inauguration of Endowed Chair in Indigenous Spirituality and Reconciliation

In consultation with an Advisory Circle including Elders, the Executive Director, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, and other Indigenous leaders, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, has established an endowed Chair in Indigenous Spirituality and Reconciliation.  One of the College's Canada 150 initiatives, the Chair, the first in Canadian history in a Catholic institution, was formally inaugurated on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 in the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre.

National Aboriginal Day

On June 21, as part of national celebrations to recognize the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, the U of S announced the appointment of its first vice-provost Indigenous engagement.

On the same day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that National Aboriginal Day will be referred to as National Indigenous Peoples Day. Consistent with the approach of recognizing the use of Indigenous as the most respectful terminology, Vice-President Research Karen Chad announced that the U of S signature area of research, known until now as Aboriginal Peoples: Scholarship and Engagement will now become Indigenous Peoples: Scholarship and Engagement.

Connecting with alumni – locally, nationally and internationally

Volunteer Summit

As part of the University of Saskatchewan’s Alumni Association Centennial and Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the U of S is excited to be hosting on March 25, 2017 the inaugural Volunteer Summit to celebrate the proud tradition of volunteerism throughout Saskatchewan. The Volunteer Summit will bring together people involved in volunteerism throughout the province, including volunteers and those who support and coordinate volunteers, community leaders, employers, students, USASK alumni, board members and the curious. Attendees will have the chance to network with other volunteers, learn about the important ways in which they can inspire others to join them, and to keep volunteerism thriving in Saskatchewan. For more information contact: alumni.volunteer@usask.ca or visit the Summit's website.

Celebrating U of S discoveries with impact

2017 Images of Research Competition

This is the third annual University of Saskatchewan Images of Research competition. The competition is an avenue for U of S students, staff, faculty and alumni to showcase the ground-breaking research, scholarly and artistic work taking place at the U of S. This year the competition will be honouring Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation by asking people to submit their best 1-minute video research pitch on how their research is Making a Difference for Canada.

The 2017 University of Saskatchewan Images of Research competition is open from March 6 to March 17.

2017 Young Innovators Series

Student researchers at the U of S are harnessing creativity and drive to make discoveries and uncover new knowledge in areas that matter to Canadians.

This series highlights examples of student research at the U of S. It is written by U of S students under the mentorship and supervision of University Research Profile and Impact. This initiative is a partnership with University Research Profile and Impact, College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and The StarPhoenix.

Celebrating Biodiversity, Diversity and Sustainability

Celebrate success: U of S "Canada 150" Citizens

To mark Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation, the university would like to recognize members of the U of S community that have helped or are helping to make Canada a more diverse, inclusive and environmentally sustainable country.

You are invited to nominate a staff, faculty, student or alumni that has contributed or is contributing in significant ways to enriching the province, the country, and the world.

All nominees will be assessed under the following federal government's Canada 150 themes which are closely aligned with the U of S Values:

  • Promoting diversity and inclusion and the building of common interests and relationships;
  • Supporting efforts towards reconciliation of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians;
  • Engaging and inspiring youth to carry forward the legacy of Canada 150; and
  • Connecting Canadians with nature and raising environmental stewardship to the level of a national consciousness.

A selection committee will assist with the identification and selection of up to 10 exceptional individuals.

SENS@10 Gala: Diversity & Biodiversity – A Celebration of Sustainability

This year, the U of S will be hosting SENS@10 - a celebration of excellence in graduate programming on environment and sustainability. The School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) at the University of Saskatchewan has evolved into an international destination for some of the globe’s brightest minds dedicated to making our world a better place.

On April 1, 2017, SENS will celebrate its 10th year anniversary with a gala event – SEN@10 - Diversity and Biodiversity. Guests will have the opportunity to mix & mingle with SENS’ researchers and students who are exploring topics that matter to our future such as renewable energy, Indigenous relations, and water. The dinner will be complimented by keynote speakers: Rosanna Deerchild, award-winning Cree author and the host of Unreserved on CBC Radio One, and Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, "the Godfather of Biodiversity.”

For more information, please contact: Jennifer Martin at jennifer.martin@usask.ca

North Building Renewal Project

St. Thomas More College (STM) officially broke ground on a new $5 million renewal and expansion to its current facilities. As a Canada 150 initiative, the North Building Renewal Project includes major additions and renewal to STM’s research library; increased facility energy efficiency and protection of the environment; an expansion of the cafeteria, along with student-centered space and installation of a 5-story elevator to provide total access throughout the College to the public. The project is set to be completed and opened by July 2017.

Connecting the U of S to the World

Study Abroad and International Scholarships

In addition to celebratory activities and events, a number of new scholarships have been created. There are 25 scholarships of $3,000 each for U of S students studying abroad in 2017-18 (13 graduate and 12 undergraduate), and three scholarships of $5,000 each for inbound international undergraduate students studying at overseas Canadian curriculum high schools and applying to Arts & Science, Edwards or Engineering. In addition, a one-year international graduate student fellowship has been established for a student who will serve as an ambassador for the university’s study abroad initiatives to encourage international study.

As part of the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the U of S is pleased to make available the following scholarships and prizes for undergraduate and graduate students. This $108,000 investment in young academic talent will foster global citizenship and the university’s place in the world.

U of S "Canada 150" Study Abroad Undergraduate Scholarships:

Canada is a country that values diversity and studying abroad helps students to develop intercultural skills, expand academic knowledge, enhance career prospects and learn a new language. To encourage U of S students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities, the university will be offering twelve $3,000 scholarships for students to participate in a U of S study abroad program.

The scholarships are for undergraduate students who study abroad in the 2017-2018 academic year. Four awards are available to students studying abroad in spring/summer 2017, Fall Term 1, 2017 and Winter Term 2, 2018.

The purpose of these awards is to support students who take part in study abroad activities that fall under one or more of the following Canada 150 themes:

  • Environmental studies or programs that benefit a local community abroad,
  • Academic programs that promote intercultural understanding,
  • For credit study abroad in China, Brazil, India, Mexico, Vietnam or Ecuador,
  • Academic programs that have a strong Indigenous dimension, and
  • Programs or studies that allow students to gain new knowledge and skills that they may not be able to acquire on campus.

For more information, visit: Canada 150 undergraduate scholarships

U of S "Canada 150" International Student Undergraduate Scholarships:

To promote diversity and international student enrolment at the U of S, the university has created a set of scholarships for inbound direct entry undergraduate students.

Three $5,000 entrance scholarships will be offered – one for entering students in each of three colleges:

  • the Edwards School of Business,
  • the College of Engineering, and
  • the College of Arts and Science.

These scholarships are open to inbound undergraduate international students who have graduated from, or will be graduating from, an out-of-country from Canadian Curriculum high school program. Students must be starting in Term 1 or Term 2 of the 2017-2018 academic year in one of the three eligible colleges.  

To be eligible, students must submit a short essay on the topic: “Why do you wish to study in Canada?” Selection will be based upon both academic achievement and the merits of the submitted statement.

For more information and to apply please go to: Canada 150 Inbound Undergraduate Scholarship

U of S “Canada 150” Biogenius Entrance Prize:

The U of S Canada 150 Project has allocated a total of $1,200 to this initiative. Each of the eight participating high school students in the Saskatchewan Regional Competition of the 2017 Sanofi Biogenius Canada competition will be awarded a U of S “Canada 150” Biogenius Entrance Prize, a $150 tuition waiver that would be applied to the student’s account if he or she chooses to attend the U of S.

U of S "Canada 150" Graduate Student Study Abroad Scholarships:

Studying abroad and global connections help students develop intercultural skills, expand their knowledge, and further the internationalization and research agenda of the U of S.  The aim of this initiative is to promote awareness of study abroad opportunities in all disciplines, and recognize at a pan-university level the importance of study abroad for developing a global perspective and approach to addressing the world’s problems.

The students selected will pursue a study/taught abroad opportunity in partnership with a faculty member in a country where the U of S has an established partnership agreement. This could involve field schools led by faculty, a taught abroad course, or a student partnering with a faculty member to go abroad to engage in a short-term research project, conference or workshop. Eligibility criteria and application process are available at Canada 150 Study Abroad Graduate Scholarships. There will be up to 13 awards of $3,000 awarded during the 2017/2018 academic year.

U of S "Canada 150" International Graduate Student Fellowship:

Through this new Fellowship, the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will hire an international graduate student to promote international activities, study abroad opportunities, and the internationalization strategy. The recipient, an international graduate student, will act as an ambassador for other students to encourage study abroad participation as a valuable life-long learning experience, and, as a means to develop a global perspective and approach to addressing the world’s problems.

There will be one graduate service fellowship (GSF) of $14,810.64 annually plus benefits awarded for 2017/2018 academic year.

USask from above

As part of the U of S Canada 150 Project, the Research Profile and Impact Unit is working in collaboration with Media Production to capture beautiful views of campus from the air by drone, across the seasons.  A selection of that footage has been paired with the composition “The Roof” performed by the Greystone Singers under the direction of Jennifer Lang and written by Andrea Ramsey.  The video is being played to introduce certain U of S Canada 150 events.

The drone footage from the project can be made available for inclusion in other video projects across campus, upon request to Research Profile and Impact. Please contact Daniel Hallen (daniel.hallen@usask.ca) for more information.

Connecting U of S arts and humanities with the community

Partnership agreement between the U of S and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra

The U of S and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on January 28th, 2017 to enhance and extend joint initiatives that benefit the cultural interests of the province of Saskatchewan and beyond.

This partnership will advance the wonderful collaborations between two of the province’s most influential cultural institutions and it will build upon the longstanding connections between the community and our university’s diverse range of departments, colleges and schools.

Scenes of Plains Peoples: A Musical Piece Composition Project

Scenes of Plains Peoples is a piece commissioned by the University of Saskatchewan to commemorate both the 150th bicentenary of Canada, and the 110th Anniversary of the University of Saskatchewan. The piece, by U of S Alumni Paul Suchan (BEd’07, BMus’07), is a celebration of the land and of the different peoples that have inhabited it. The piece will be performed by the UofS Wind Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Greystone Singers, and Chamber Ensemble.
The piece will be scored out for younger bands and given away to all SK-Based secondary music programs.

Scenes of Plains Peoples”  

I.  The Hunters Where Lilies Grow                    (U of S Wind Orchestra)
II.  The Horsemen Where Rivers Join               (Greystone Singers)
III.  The Fiddlers Where Grey Stones Stand      (U of S Jazz Orchestra)

The concept behind Scenes of Plains Peoples is to view the land at different times throughout its history, starting from before human habitation, and jumping forward in time to “thousands of years ago” to “hundreds of years ago” and finally to “tens of years ago.” This piece is a three-movement work, with each movement written for a different ensemble; the first for Wind Orchestra, the second for Choir, and the last for Jazz Orchestra. Each movement was composed to be performed independent of each other. There are however themes, motifs and chord progressions that link the movements together

The first movement, for Wind Orchestra is called “The Hunters Where Lilies Grow”: This movement starts with a slow sweeping section, a reflection on the land before it was inhabited by humans.  Once the fast section begins we jump forward in time to when groups of wanderers have arrived and the hunt has begun.

The second movement, for Choir is “The Horsemen Where Rivers Join”: This tale, recounted in a poem by Edmonton based poet Douglas Elves, describes a legendary horserace between members of the Blackfoot and Cree First Nations that took place on the floodplains at the confluence of the North Saskatchewan and Battle rivers.  In the setting the choir is a crowd of people asking the storyteller, a soloist, to retell the legend.

The third movement, for Jazz Orchestra is “The Fiddlers Where Grey Stones Stand”: The final movement of the suite is set close to the present day.  This movement uses a combination of folk and fiddle tunes, before ending the same way the entire piece began, with a slow reflection on the prairie landscape.

Composer, performer, music educator, and U of S alumnus Paul Suchan (BEd’07, BMus’07) has been described as engaging, diverse and profound. His work has been performed by many of Canada's leading ensembles including the McGill Wind Symphony, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Universite de Montreal Big Band and the National Youth Band of Canada.

The three performances will take place in March 2017:

  • Greystone Singers: March 12, 3pm, Knox United Church
  • U of S Jazz Ensemble: March 26, 3pm, Quance Theatre (at the U of S)
  • U of S Wind Orchestra: March 31, 7:30pm, Aden Bowman Collegiate

Check out the Calendar of Events for more information.

The Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra's Prairie Fire & Master Class with Kelly Jefferson

The U of S Canada 150 Project is pleased to partner with the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra to bring Canadian jazz saxophonist, composer and educator, Kelly Jefferson, to Saskatoon for a Master Class on October 27 and a concert on October 29.

Kelly Jefferson has performed with numerous jazz musicians and bands including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Maria Schneider, Bill Holman, Ray Anderson, Kenny Werner, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Al Jarreau, Michel LeGrand, Nicholas Payton, Brian Blade, as well as Ray Brown, Sonny Fortune, Randy Brecker, Renee Rosnes, Johnny Mathis, Russell Malone, Joey DeFrancesco, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others. A full biography is available here.

On October 29, the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra will present Prairie Fire, a musical celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, featuring the inimitable Kelly Jefferson and music from Canadian composers Dr. Allan Gilliland, Jim Head, Jeff Presslaff, Paul Suchan, Dr. Richard Gillis, Eileen Laverty, Dean McNeill and more! This big band celebration relies talents and passion of some of Western Canada’s finest jazz artists coming right here to Saskatoon and the Broadway Theatre. Check the calendar of events for more information.

The U of S will also be the host of a Master Class with Mr. Jefferson. More information in the calendar of events.

Shawn Zheng's "Fly High Canada"

Fly High Canada is Shawn Zheng's 150 Geese Artwork Project that celebrates Canada's Sesquicentennial. It pictures 150 Canada Geese in ten paintings – throughout the seasons. Painted with grace and simplicity, the lyrical compositions represent flocks of geese returning from winter homes, alighting, nesting, grazing and migrating.

A Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Fujian Teacher’s University in China, Zheng immigrated to Canada in 1989, where he continues to practice his art and teach. “Canada Geese are so strong,” he says. “They really impressed me when I first arrived. They stand for freedom, harmony, gaiety and peace: all values that Canadians cherish.”

For more information about this project, please read this CBC article.

See a preview of the exhibit and artwork here:

Zheng's work will be shown at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery at the U of S.