Saskatchewan Polytechnic continues commitment to Indigenous student empowerment with new strategy

Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Saskatchewan Polytechnic builds on its 15-year legacy of strategies supporting Indigenous students

November 2, 2023 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic, situated on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories and homeland of the Métis, reaffirms its dedication to Indigenous student success with the launch of its 2024-2029 Indigenous Student Success Strategy - Wichitowin ahci kaskihtamâsowin ati nikan – Michif for helping each other with success. This comprehensive five-year plan aims to enhance recruitment, retention and overall achievement of Indigenous students across all programs.

Building upon its 15-year legacy of strategies supporting Indigenous students, Sask Polytech unveiled the new Indigenous Student Success Strategy at a special event held on November 2. The launch received overwhelming support from employees, students and community leaders with celebrations taking place in each campus city.

To develop the new plan, Sask Polytech engaged in consultations with students, employees, First Nations and the Métis community. Together, they reviewed the 2018-2023 Indigenous Student Success Strategy and confirmed its continued relevance. The primary objectives of the strategy remain unchanged: to welcome, inspire and empower Indigenous students, but most of all, to ensure Indigenous students feel a sense of belonging at Sask Polytech.  

“The Sask Polytech wichitowin ahci kaskihtamâsowin ati nikan strategy is aligned with our purpose and mission to empower a better Saskatchewan while inspiring success in every learning journey,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. “This refreshed also embodies the spirit of miyo wâhkôhtowin, a Cree phrase that emphasizes the value of interconnectedness and relationships.  Sask Polytech honours this principle as we work together to create an inclusive learning environment where Indigenous students succeed.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to this new strategy.”  

Deanna Speidel, director, wītōkamāhtōtān Indigenous Student Success, notes: “Although we have seen tremendous headway, our work at Sask Polytech is far from finished. Barriers remain for Indigenous students. Proactive recruitment and setting Indigenous students up for post-secondary success before they walk through our doors will be our key focus over the next five years. I am excited for what is to come for Indigenous students studying at Sask Polytech.”

The new strategy outlines specific actions aimed at removing barriers to access and delivering comprehensive support services to ensure the success of Indigenous students.

In the 15 years since Sask Polytech’s first plan was established, there have been several notable successes. These include hosting our first powwow to celebrate Indigenous traditions, celebrating a decade of Indigenous role models through our annual calendar, incorporating more Indigenous language on campus and international recognition for our efforts to help Indigenous students reach their educational and career goals.

Indigenous student enrolment increased by 7 per cent this fall. The growth in Indigenous enrolment is a testament to Sask Polytech's commitment to supporting and empowering Indigenous students.

The wītōkamāhtōtān Indigenous Student Success department offers help with career planning, funding, housing, child-care and more. Each Sask Polytech campus city includes an Indigenous students’ centre that provides access to cultural supports, community connections, campus events, Elder services and other academic resources.

Visit our Wichitowin ahci kaskihtamasowin ati nikan webpage to view the new strategy document.