At Saskatchewan Polytechnic, our mission is to inspire success in every learning journey. This is the focus of Wichitowin ahci kaskihtamasowin ati nikan (Michif): helping each other with success for the future – the Indigenous Student Success Strategy 2024-29. The heart of the strategy is the Indigenous student ᑭᐢᑫᔨᐦᑕᒧᐃᐧᐣ kiskēyihtamowin (Cree): experience. 

Wichitowin ahci kaskihtamasowin ati nikan strategy builds on consecutive strategies over 15 years to increase the recruitment, retention and success of Indigenous students. The strategy defines goals and actions so Indigenous students feel welcomed, inspired, empowered and a sense of belonging at Sask Polytech.

wītōkamāhtōtān Indigenous Student Success is the student and community outreach focused department that actions much of the Wichitowin ahci kaskihtamasowin ati nikan strategy. As subject matter experts, the team also collaborates and assists on initiatives across Sask Polytech as part of our obligations defined in the TRC Calls to Action and the seven principles of the CiCan Indigenous Education Protocol.  

Help Indigenous students coming to Sask Polytech prepare and be ready for post-secondary life.  

Many of our Indigenous students leave their families and communities to study with us and we know this transition can be difficult. The more we can help them understand what studying at Sask Polytech will be like and provide a friendly face to help them navigate unfamiliar processes and systems, the easier this move will be.  

tôtamowin (Cree): Actions 2024-29
  • Create an Indigenous recruitment plan
  • Enhance and expand pathways to learning
  • Offer authentic supports in-community to:
    • Help Indigenous students understand what is needed to succeed at post-secondary and the services and supports Sask Polytech can offer
    • Reduce barriers to applying to Sask Polytech
    • Provide information and support on finding housing, childcare and other necessities when living away from home
  • Reduce funding barriers
  • Provide Indigenous students with a supportive campus community that is invested in their success from day one 
Help Indigenous students thrive at Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

We hope that Indigenous students will participate actively in all aspects of post-secondary life, but we know that often our spaces and ways of doing things are intimidating and foreign for them. We can help make post-secondary life more accessible by embracing an Indigenous worldview, establishing Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments and authentically celebrating Indigenous culture and identity. 

tôtamowin (Cree): Actions 2024-29
  • Work with schools to support the integration of Indigenous knowledge and ways of learning in programs and curricula so that an Indigenous perspective informs teaching and learning
  • Support faculty and staff knowledge development so they know how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into the curriculum and services we provide  
  • Provide specific supports to help Indigenous students overcome identified obstacles to learning success  
  • Increase Indigenous student representation at Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • Offer dedicated Indigenous counselling services focused on mental health and wellness on all four campuses 
  • Help Indigenous students maintain connections to identity and community 
Celebrate Indigenous student success and prepare Indigenous graduates for successful lifelong careers.

We take great pride in our students’ achievements and want all our students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to leave us ready to change their communities, Canada and the world.  

tôtamowin (Cree): Actions 2024-29
  • Build supportive business and industry networks, so that Indigenous students have connections to the world of work
  • Foster an Indigenous alumni network, so Indigenous graduates truly feel part of the Sask Polytech family
  • Provide career counselling and employment services
  • Foster Indigenous student leadership
  • Enhance Indigenous students’ global competencies 
Foster inclusive, respectful and welcoming campuses where Indigenous students feel at home.

This starts with miyo wâhkôhtowin - good relations which Sask Polytech works to build with Indigenous communities before students come to study with us. We must listen and learn to fully understand what Indigenous students need us to do to help them succeed.  

While students are with us, we must continue to listen and learn, so that we can improve our institutional culture, processes and practices to truly support Indigenous student persistence and success.  

Our campuses must reflect the rich Indigenous heritage of the lands on which they are situated and feel safe and inviting for everyone. 

tôtamowin (Cree): Actions 2024-29
  • Develop close and trusted relationships with Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan, so we can respond to their specific educational concerns and needs  
  • Maintain strong connections between wītōkamāhtōtān Indigenous Student Success and Schools to support Indigenous students
  • Build safe and nurturing virtual and physical environments  
  • Create formal mechanisms for Indigenous students and community members to provide input and feedback on the Indigenous student experience at Sask Polytech
  • Provide updates to community on progress on the strategy and key successes.  
  • Appraise all campuses with an Indigenous lens, explore ways to Indigenize spaces, facilities and ancillary services and seek to make campuses more welcoming 

Measuring success

Sask Polytech has identified outcomes to monitor as the Indigenous Student Success Strategy 2018-23 is implemented. Outcomes and success are measured through the Indigenous balanced report card. The report card is reviewed, updated annually and monitored over the course of the strategy.

  • 92% of Indigenous graduates find employment
  • 1,974 Indigenous students* make up 11% of our student population
  • 61% Indigenous cohort graduation rate
  • 100,332 interactions with Indigenous coordinators, advisors and coordinators and community outreach teams
  • 421 Indigenous student awards and scholarships valued at $455,600
  • 203 Indigenous student emergency bursaries valued at $151,000

*This is the number of students who have self-declared as Indigenous. The actual number may be higher. 

Past reports:

Guiding statements and principles

This Cree phrase expresses the positive value and richness of experience that stems from interconnectedness and relationships. This worldview represents the individual and the community, and encompasses the foundation of all we do at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. We honour this principle in every interaction, institutional practice, procedure, policy, and service we provide to learners, faculty, staff, alumni and our communities.
Sask Polytech is committed to the indigenization of our institution. Indigenization is our social and collective responsibility and it enriches and benefits all aspects of our institutional culture.
We indigenize by holistically integrating Indigenous ways of knowing, teaching, and learning within all of the institutional practices, procedures and services we provide to students, staff and communities. This results in Indigenous people seeing themselves and their realities reflected throughout our institution. It also results in non-Indigenous people gaining the skills and knowledge that enable them to work with and live alongside their Indigenous neighbours knowledgeably and respectfully.

Founded on seven principles, the Colleges and Institutes Canada Indigenous Education Protocol guides colleges and institutes. Sask Polytech signed the protocol agreement in 2015. 

  1. Commit to making Indigenous education a priority.
  2. Ensure governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples.
  3. Implement intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples through curriculum and learning approaches relevant to learners and communities.
  4. Support students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
  5. Commit to increasing the number of Indigenous employees with ongoing appointments throughout the institution, including Indigenous senior administrators.
  6. Establish Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments for learner success.
  7. Build relationships and be accountable to Indigenous communities in support of self-determination through education, training and applied research.

Contact us

Deanna Kematch
Deanna Kematch
Director, wītōkamāhtōtān Indigenous Student Success
Biography

Jackie Duperreault
Jackie Duperreault
Administrative assistant, wītōkamāhtōtān Indigenous Student Success
Biography

 Anita Cameron
Anita Cameron
Indigenous strategic relations manager, wītōkamāhtōtān Indigenous Student Success
Biography