Aboriginal event celebrates cultural diversity on campus
Regina, April 23, 2015 - Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Regina Campus is marking the 25thanniversary of its Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Event, sponsored by Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw, with jigging, drumming, comedy and an interactive workshop on intercultural education today.
"The Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Event at our Regina campus has become an enduring symbol of our campus community's commitment to diversity and cultural inclusiveness," says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. "As we celebrate the event's silver anniversary, I applaud organizers and participants for enriching campus life and our learning experience."
The morning opened with a Saulteaux prayer by Elder Audrey Cochrane, and participants were greeted by Dr. Rosia, Interim President and CEO Blaine Pilatzke of SaskGaming (theCrown corporation that operates Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw) and Regina Mayor Michael Fougere. Exhibitors are on campus displaying artwork, crafts and jewelry. A tipi raising and pipe ceremony were held earlier in the week.
"Saskatchewan Polytechnic has a long history of valuing Aboriginal cultures," says organizing committee chair Jacqueline Belhumeur. "This particular event is a key opportunity to showcase traditional and contemporary aspects of Aboriginal cultures. This year's theme, ‘Celebrating 25 Years of Inspiring Intercultural Education,' reflects the ongoing process of learning to work and thrive within a culturally diverse campus and the larger community."
Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw have been the event's sponsor for the past seven years, in addition to providing funding for the Aboriginal Student Achievement Plan (ASAP) and SaskGaming's student award awards program.
"We couldn't be happier to once again support this great event, as well as learning opportunities for Aboriginal students," says Pilatzke. "With over 40 per cent of our employees being of Aboriginal descent, we know first-hand the value of cultural diversity. That's one reason why we place a high priority on sponsoring events and programs like this that engage and support Aboriginal people here in Saskatchewan."
The Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Event began in 1990. It has grown from 200 participants to include more than 1,200 Sask Polytech faculty, staff, students and partner agencies. The focus remains on providing faculty, staff and students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of, and appreciation and respect for, Aboriginal cultures.
Printable media release (PDF)