Saskatchewan Polytechnic creates Indigenization Declaration
Saskatchewan Polytechnic is reinforcing its commitment to the Aboriginal community
November 16, 2015 - Saskatchewan Polytechnic has approved an Indigenization Declaration to reinforce its commitment to the Aboriginal community and to sustain long-term positive change. Earlier this year Saskatchewan Polytechnic signed the Indigenous Education Protocol and welcomed the recommendations by Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
"Our goal is to help Aboriginal students succeed at the same rate as non-Aboriginal students," says Jason Seright, Saskatchewan Polytechnic's director, Aboriginal Strategy. "We are committed to the success of our Aboriginal students and indigenizing our institution and curriculum."
The Saskatchewan Polytechnic Aboriginal Student Achievement Plan (ASAP) steering committee crafted the following Indigenization Declaration: Saskatchewan Polytechnic 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. The declaration was recently accepted by the board of directors.
The ASAP Steering Committee also created the following Indigenization Belief Statement: We indigenize by holistically integrating Aboriginal ways of knowing, teaching and learning within all of the institutional practices, procedures and services that we provide to students, staff and communities. This results in Aboriginal people seeing themselves and their realities reflected in our institutional practices. It also results in non-Aboriginal people gaining the skills and knowledge that enable them to work with and live alongside their Aboriginal neighbors knowledgeably and respectfully.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic has 3,490 Aboriginal students - more than any other post-secondary institution in Saskatchewan. The organization has made significant progress in including Aboriginal content in several programs and aspires to indigenize its curriculum on a broader scale.
On Sask Polytech campuses, an Aboriginal Student Achievement Plan seeks to close the program completion gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students by providing such services such as Elder access and transition programs. Additionally, each campus is home to an Aboriginal activity centre. Cultural events celebrating and recognizing Aboriginal heritage are open to the entire campus population.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 26,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.