The University of Regina has announced a multi-year plan, dubbed Tapwewin kwayaskwastâsowin: Truth and Putting Things Right, meant to position the school as a leader in Indigenous engagement and education.
The announcement was made Tuesday at the U of R's Research and Innovative Centre, with a full crowd in attendance.
The U of R said it started its planning in September 2022, with help from an advisory group that included Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, faculty and community members.
The goal is to transform governance and administration, improving Indigenous student supports and making sure to include community engagement with Indigenous people.
A full crowd attended the announcement at the U of R's Research and Innovative Centre. (Louise BigEagle/CBC)
Part of the plan is the establishment of an office of Indigenous engagement, which is now open with Lori Campbell as the associate vice president. Campbell is a U of R alumnus and a two-spirit Cree and Métis person from Montreal Lake Cree Nation.
"Nineteen-year-old me never dreamed that there'd be a position like this at the university for Indigenous peoples, let alone me," she said.
Lori Campbell is the associate vice president of the new office of Indigenous engagement. (Adam Bent/CBC)
Campbell said there will be systemic changes at the U of R around policy, procedures and curriculum, and not only in Indigenous subject areas.
She said there will be job opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in multiple fields and multiple areas.
"I think one of the really exciting things is the relationship between the University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada," she said. "It is a unique relationship, it's the only relationship like that in all of Canada, and it's a really amazing opportunity to be a part of taking the next best steps and of reconciliation and Indigenization alongside one another."
U of R president Jess Keshen spoke to the crowd about the plan and why it's important to act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action.
The U of R focused on 34 calls grouped into four themes: student success, spaces and learning, teaching and learning, and community building.
"It must guide us. As we model equity, diversity and inclusion in our teaching and research, it must guide us as we advance truth and reconciliation, and truly decolonize our practices across this campus and beyond," Keshen said.
Cadmus Delorme is the former chief of Cowessess First Nation and now chairs the U of R board of governors. (Louise BigEagle/CBC)
Cadmus Delorme, former chief of Cowessess First Nation and now chair of the U of R board of governors, spoke on how the plan advances reconciliation.
"This plan is to make sure that when we teach education, we are gonna talk about Indigenous worldview, Indigenous teachings, as if we were always supposed to get it since the beginning," Delorme said. "And we're going to make sure it's respected with our Western worldview teachings."
Delorme said the plan may not see results in the short term, but he hopes that by the time his seven-year-old daughter is ready to attend university, the U of R and the First Nations University can strengthen her Indigenous worldview.