Saskatchewan Polytechnic receives League for Innovation in the Community College award

Image credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic receives 2021-2022 Innovation of the Year Award for work done with Cowessess First Nation

June 17, 2022 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic received a League for Innovation in the Community College award for its work with Cowessess First Nation and Chief Cadmus Delorme in 2021 on a joint initiative, the Remote Sensing of Residential School Cemeteries applied research project.

In partnership with Cowessess First Nation, Sask Polytech used remote sensing technologies, specifically unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with imaging sensors, together with traditional ground penetration radar (GPR) to locate unidentified and unmarked grave sites. The research conducted during this project will help refine the use of remote sensing technologies to support GPR scanning and to establish best practices to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of such work. The work for this project is ongoing.

“Sask Polytech is honoured to support the Cowessess First Nation in this extremely significant search,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. “It is our hope that our research findings serve to establish a new set of best practices, allowing researchers to collect data in the most efficient manner to better support our Indigenous partners and communities in this critical work. Congratulations to the applied research team for their recognition of this important work.”

June is National Indigenous History Month, a significant month for Sask Polytech as it works toward reconciliation and incorporating Indigenous knowledge throughout the institution. Indigenous partnerships, such as this partnership with Cowessess First Nation, are important to Sask Polytech as we follow the principles of miyo wâhkôhtowin. Sask Polytech strives to have good relationships with Indigenous communities throughout Saskatchewan.

The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The league serves as a catalyst for introducing and sustaining deep, transformational innovation within and across colleges and international borders to increase student success and institutional excellence. The Innovation of the Year Award recognizes significant achievements and the spirit of innovation and experimentation upon which the League was founded.

Sask Polytech’s applied research team is honoured and thankful to the Cowessess First Nation community and Chief Cadmus Delorme for their continuous support and help. Ultimately, the applied research team hopes this project can contribute to reconciliation efforts. The research team is led by Dr. Abdul Raouf, research chair, and includes Jamie Hilts, dean for the School of Mining, Energy & Manufacturing; Carlos Lara, instructor, Dr. Herve Lahamy, instructor; and Ian McWilliams, research project coordinator.

Sask Polytech faculty, researchers and students collaborate with employers on applied research projects. These projects take many forms including product development, process design, technology adoption and proof of concept. Using state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and faculty expertise Sask Polytech delivers solutions and helps industry to capture new opportunities. Intellectual property for all applied research projects is retained by industry, creating more incentive for future creative engagement and ongoing collaboration. 

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Saskatchewan Polytechnic is signatory to the SDG Accord. Sustainable Development Goal alignment is one of the ways Sask Polytech is leading the rise of polytechnic education.

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