Saskatchewan Polytechnic celebrates National Aboriginal History month with unveiling of Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports
June 15, 2017 – Today Eugene Arcand, a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Indian Residential School Survivor Committee, spoke at Saskatchewan Polytechnic about the importance of Truth and Reconciliation. A set of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports donated by Arcand to Sask Polytech are on permanent display.
In 2015 Arcand was presented with five complete sets of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports. Sets have been gifted to the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatoon Public Schools, Saskatoon Public Library and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
“It is a great honour for Sask Polytech to have received this set of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports from Mr. Eugene Arcand,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, president and CEO. “Diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Guided by the principles of reconciliation, we continue to look for opportunities to holistically integrate Indigenous ways of knowing, teaching and learning into our practices, procedures and services. These reports serve as a reminder of our commitment to reconciliation.”
“Today we celebrate National Aboriginal History month with Mr. Eugene Arcand and his generous gift to Saskatchewan Polytechnic,” says Jason Seright, director, Indigenous Strategy. “This Truth and Reconciliation display is one of the many ways Sask Polytech is bringing attention to this important Indigenous issue and ensuring our Indigenous faculty, staff and students see their culture and history reflected on campus.”
Arcand, who is from the Muskeg Lake First Nation, was taken away from the reserve as a boy and sent to the St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Duck Lake. Increasing knowledge and understanding about the history of residential schools and their effects on Indigenous Canadians will help our campus communities better understand the importance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports.
Indigenous students are an important part of our campus community. Sask Polytech has more Indigenous students than any other post-secondary institution in the province. Enrolment for Indigenous students has increased 31 per cent since 2011-12. Indigenous students make up more than 18 per cent of our student population. In 2014-15 the employment rate for Sask Polytech’s Indigenous graduates was 84%.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 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.