SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan (USask) through the Office of the Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement (OVPIE) and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to ensure that more Indigenous students graduate through increased work in Treaty education implementation and reconciliation at the university.
Part of the goal of the MOU will be the creation of an evaluation tool that will be used and measured for progress throughout USask.
“Both organizations will initially be focusing on the development of an action plan that will support reconciliation evaluation at the university, while building relationships between the USask community and the OTC team,” said Jacqueline Ottmann, vice-provost of Indigenous Engagement at USask.
According to Ottmann, evaluating the institution will help create measurable paths to follow towards meaningful, respectful and reciprocal reconciliation.
Additionally, the MOU outlines intentions to work together to increase accessibility for Indigenous people to post-secondary education, increase the post-secondary participation rate at decision-making circles, and increase the student success and completion rates.
The agreement also includes a commitment to promote Treaty education implementation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the Calls to Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The Treaty promises our ancestors entered into have yet to be realized and is no easy task. We know that we have to create a path to the decolonization of systems. The Office of the Treaty Commissioner wishes to walk along with the university to push forward on decolonization to fulfill the Treaty relationship,” said Mary Culbertson, J.D., Treaty Commissioner, Office of the Treaty Commissioner. “We can move forward on this path to where systems of accountability can bring about authentic change ensuring the spirit and intent of Treaty in all areas of the university. OTC’s vision of Reconciliation through Treaty implementation, evaluation and mapping framework is a good place to start.”